Archive for the ‘Asia Pacific Websites’ Category

Website review: Airline reservation companies displayed when doing a BlueCastle search

January 22nd, 2014 No comments

Bluecastle is a website in New Zealand that allows reservations for flying from places like Auckland or ChristChurch.
Blue Castle main menu


When doing a search for a domestic flight in January 2014, we noticed that the following logos were displayed:






Results for flights included companies like Quantas and Jetstar Airways.

The only criticism we have is that for a label called ‘NZ Flights’ there were too many matches to international flights.  This would make the website much more appealing to the intended audience and would ensure more return visits.  If it is necessary to include international flights, a new label called ‘International Flights’ could be added.



Categories: Asia Pacific Websites, websites Tags:

Online service of the week: historical Fiji Rugby matches at

September 18th, 2013 No comments

Nothing beats knowledge about sports than being as close to the source as possible

This is true of the historical match database found at the website.

Simply select ‘Result’ from the main menu and it you will be able to search by team, match year, or match venue.


But the real surprise was to find the possibility of a match report and statistics that may go back decades in the past.

For example, after selecting ‘Ireland’ under the ‘opponent name’ search option, we are presented with a list that indicates that there was a visit from Ireland XV way back in june 1976 along with the full detail of players and scoring sequence.

We just wish that every country were as enthusiastic about their sports to keep such a rich legacy of information.

Similar services (In Spanish). A detailed look at matches and news around every sport.


Online service of the week: assignments written by Marovo-speaking students at Reef and Rainforest wiki in the Solomon Islands

May 25th, 2013 No comments

The Reef and Rainforest (Marovo Lagoon) wiki  in the Solomon Islands promotes the transmission and nurturing of the Marovo language. This site uses the MediaWiki platform for that purpose.

The wiki contains a unique feature in which writing assignments  are provided to students.  These assignments are done in the Marovo language and subsequently scanned to PDF.  Each assignment is then given the name of the school and an ID


Sample of a scanned assignment in the Marovo language in PDF form.

This is a treasure trove for researchers of Asia Pacific languages and it provides insight into the power of the web to use groups to achieve goals.

In order to access the assignments, go to the Reef and Rainforest wiki, and select ‘Assignments’ from the top menu

Afterwards, go to the bottom and click on any assignment with the .pdf extension

This will open the assignment selection page with a link to the document to download (file name is highlighted in the picture below)

One improvement we would like to see done is to expand the wiki to provide the same assignments transcribed into text form. (Transcribers need not understand the Marovo language). Also, the assignments do not have a timestamp which would benefit potential researchers.

If anyone wanted an idea for reviving any dying language, this type of project is a good example of how to get started.


Updates to the Fulbright New Zealand website description now mention New Zealand artists

February 21st, 2013 No comments

Since we last visited the Fulbright New Zealand website  around Feb 2011, there has been a change in its description.  The text has been enhanced to include the following:

We offer scholarships for New Zealand and American graduate students, academics, artists and professionals to study, research, teach or present their work in each otherâ’s countries

What caught our attention is the inclusion of not only academics and professionals, but also artists that can now participate in this exchange.

Here’s an example of one such scholarship, it is called the Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award and its description says that it is directed toward a New Zealand artist (or academic or professional) to provide lectures and conduct research at a US institution in the field of indigenous development.

In order to view this or other such opportunities, you need to select the tab called ‘The Awards’ from the main Fullbright New Zealand website and then choose ‘Awards for New Zealand Academics, Artists, and Professionals’ section on the left.

We are pleased to see this long-standing scholarship program becoming bilateral and diverse and would hope to see it being enhanced this way in the many countries where it is being offered.

Additional References

Updated list of countries where Fulbright is being offered

Categories: Asia Pacific Websites Tags:

Online service of the week: restaurant reservations at

January 15th, 2013 No comments

The description for the home page of in Auckland has changed recently to describe real time online bookings:

“Auckland Restaurant dining guide to the best restaurants in Auckland City… with photos, menus, restaurant reviews, book online real-time

The first thing we tried in order to test out the online booking feature was to find the service in their main menu.

There is no option to do it directly from the main page, instead, you need to locate the restaurant first.

For locating the restaurant, we clicked on the ‘Asian’ style at the ‘Restaurants by Cuisine’ section in blue.

Asian cuisine is one of the options to limit your search at menumania

Asian cuisine is one of the options to limit your search at menumania

This returns a list of Asian cuisine restaurants, however when selecting a lot of them there was still no option visible for an online booking.

We managed to find it in one of the restaurants.  The listing contained the ‘Make Reservation’ icon in them.

The restaurant we found: Degrand Thai Restaurant has a 'make reservation' option

The restaurant we found: Degrand Thai Restaurant has a ‘make reservation’ option

A restaurant directory that has the ability to book online is a unique service.

What is left for MenuMania to do is to either provide the list of restaurants with the booking ability available from the main menu, or display this flag whenever restaurant lists are displayed.

It would also be very helpful for MenuMania to produce an Android application as only an iOS application is available at the moment.