Crack the CODE appathon by adding maps to your apps

February 20, 2014 Joy Chan

Developers will converge in Toronto next week for the Canadian Open Data Experience or CODE, the country’s first national appathon. Participants will have 48 hours to turn federal government open data into useful, innovative apps. It’s an exciting opportunity to use GIS to geo-enable your app or mash up open data with other data to create new Web and mobile mapping apps.

Developers will converge in Toronto next week for the Canadian Open Data Experience or CODE, the country’s first national appathon. Participants will have 48 hours – from Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 2 – to turn federal government open data into useful, innovative apps. It’s an exciting opportunity that could result in new business startups and create jobs for Canadians.

The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada and chair of government’s Open Data Advisory Panel, discusses how you can participate in CODE in this video.

We’re equally excited because CODE turns the spotlight on the federal government’s nearly 200,000 open datasets, which cover a broad range of topics, from immigration to health, business and transportation. These datasets are mostly in the form of geographic data that can be easily mapped and mashed up with other data using geographic information systems (GIS) to build interactive Web and mobile mapping apps.

Why put maps in your apps?

Web maps are popular because people everywhere are familiar with them. They’re used for things such as finding directions, locating points of interest, and to mash up photos and data onto map views. No wonder they’ve become standard apps in smartphones, tablets and cars.

Maps are visual and interactive, and with today’s advanced GIS mapping platforms, they can include powerful functionality for data search, integration and analysis.

You can build anything on top of Web maps and quickly make sense of open data. They’re great for storytelling and engaging your target audience. Governments and other organizations use them to deliver valuable self-services including garbage route pick-up schedules, property assessments, location of schools and bus routes, directions to polling places and information on election results.

They can also be used to improve public consultation on important concerns such as protecting natural resources, existing and planned public works projects, and new development proposals.

With readily accessible mapping platforms such as Esri’s ArcGIS Online, you can easily add maps to your apps. It provides free basemaps and geospatial content, Web and mobile APIs, configurable templates and viewer apps, software development kits and options for hosting your app in the cloud.

Through ArcGIS Online, you can explore maps from Esri and thousands of organizations worldwide and enrich them with your own data to create new maps, map layers and apps. Sign up for a free developer trial account at developers.arcgis.com.

Web apps created in ArcGIS Online can be opened in standard Web browsers, mobile devices and desktop map viewers. As well, you can share them through links, embed the apps in your Web sites and use them to create browser- and device-based apps, with no programming experience required.

Are you ready to get started?

Check out these resources for more information.

Learn more about the CODE appathon at: canadianopendataexperience.com and data.gc.ca.

Best of luck to all CODE participants!

About the Author

Joy Chan

Joy Chan is the Marketing Communications Manager for Esri Canada. She is passionate about sharing how GIS makes the world sustainable and how you don’t need to be a cartographer to make great maps. Joy has a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and has over 15 years’ international experience in the technology industry.

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