Calling east coast developers: Showcase your app-building talent by November 29th

October 7, 2013 Amanda Graff

If you’re a developer or student on the east coast, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is offering a golden opportunity to flex your creative muscle for a chance to win some incredible prizes. To foster new technology that will improve the lives of Halifax residents, the HRM has embarked on a 12 month Open Data Pilot Project through which they’re making a wealth of high quality datasets publicly available. These include road networks, buildings, polling stations, crime, civic addresses, bus stops, among others.

If you’re a developer or student on the east coast, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is offering a golden opportunity to flex your creative muscle for a chance to win some incredible prizes. To foster new technology that will improve the lives of Halifax residents, the HRM has embarked on a 12 month Open Data Pilot Project through which they’re making a wealth of high quality datasets publicly available. These include road networks, buildings, polling stations, crime, civic addresses, bus stops, among others.

To put this data into action, they launched the Apps4Halifax open data applications contest: a challenge to create apps that benefit and improve the lives of Halifax residents. The apps must incorporate at least one of the 17 Open Data datasets released through the Pilot, and developers are encouraged to mash these up with other publicly available datasets.

The challenge began with an Ideas competition that just closed in September. A roaring success, over 270 innovative app ideas were submitted. Ideas ranged from a Haunted Halifax app to a Hiking trails app to a Storytelling app that recognizes the city’s long standing tradition of storytelling including legends, tails, poetry and art.

The second phase of the competition, the App Development Contest, is open until November 29, 4:00 p.m. AST. Developers are encouraged to submit apps that fall into one of these four categories:

  • Live It Up: These apps are aimed at supporting leisure and fun in the HRM, such as recreation, museums, cultural events, and other events.
  • Your City: These apps are designed to help people understand what’s happening in the HRM such as election boundaries, virtual tour guide or public safety.
  • Go Green: This category will encourage a more environmentally-friendly HRM such as recycling, enjoying parks and trails, or using green products.
  • Keep ‘er Movin’: These apps are intended to help people get around the HRM such as public transit, driving, biking and walking.

Figure 1.1: Leverage open data to build a high-performing app aimed at improving the lives of Halifax residents. You'll be eligible to win a number of cash prizes in addition to a scholarship, software and training from Esri Canada.

From December 2nd-January 7th, an expert panel of judges comprised of both HRM and community representatives will judge the apps based on accessibility, usability, creativity and number of community votes received. Five cash prizes will be awarded in each winner category: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Student App and People’s Choice.

Esri Canada is also teaming up with HRM to offer a number of prizes and giveaways:

  • Participating students will have the opportunity to win one of three Scholarship prizes that include cash, software, training and a chance to speak at an Esri Canada event promoting your work.
  • Startups that meet the Esri Canada “startup criteria” will have a chance to with a prize package that includes access to Esri software, mentoring and training.
  • We’ll also be launching a site on ArcGIS Online that will provide open access to data, maps and technology. Stay tuned! 

The Apps4Halifax contest is open to all legal residents, businesses and organizations based in or capable of being registered to do business in Nova Scotia. All participating developers retain ownership rights of their submitted apps and are permitted to sell and use their applications commercially after the judging period has closed. 

For tools and technology that can help you to develop an outstanding app, check out our Developer Resources. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about getting started.

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