Minister Tony Clement rallies support for Open Data, GIS and the first national appathon at the Ottawa UC

October 29, 2013 Amanda Graff

Nearly 300 geographic information system (GIS) enthusiasts attended the Esri Canada User Conference in Ottawa on October 22. They were treated to exciting demos of the latest Esri technology and apps, insightful keynote and user presentations, as well as an engaging speech by the Honourable Tony Clement, who is the President of the Treasury Board of Canada and chairs the government’s Open Data Advisory Panel.

Nearly 300 geographic information system (GIS) enthusiasts attended the Esri Canada User Conference in Ottawa on October 22. They were treated to exciting demos of the latest Esri technology and apps, insightful keynote and user presentations, as well as an engaging speech by the Honourable Tony Clement, who is the President of the Treasury Board of Canada and chairs the government’s Open Data Advisory Panel.

The minister noted that geospatial data is some of the most valuable information available on data.gc.ca, Canada’s Open Data portal, and that the government is excited to continue to make federal data available to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. He also gave Esri Canada two thumbs up for using government data with GIS to drive innovation.

And to continue promoting the use of open data, Minister Clement invites everyone to participate in the Canadian Open Data Experience or CODE, the country’s first national appathon.

Here’s what you need to know about CODE:

  • The appathon will take place in February 2014.       
  • The challenge is to use some of the 200,000 datasets in Canada’s Open Data portal to create new consumer-friendly apps that address real problems. The apps will then be used for social or commercial purposes.
  • It’s open to students, technology innovators, developers and open data enthusiasts.
  • Participants will be given 48 hours to work alone or as part of a team.

Minister Tony Clement discussed Open Data, GIS and the first national appathon at our recent Ottawa UC.

Do you have what it takes to build apps that have the potential to be the next big thing?

If you’re looking for some inspiration, browse through the Apps Gallery in the Open Data portal to see examples of how the government uses this data to serve Canadians.

Why is this appathon exciting for our GIS community?  CODE is a great opportunity to show the world what GIS can do with open data. Mash up datasets from the Open Data Portal with Esri basemaps and content, and turn them into dynamic Web and mobile apps that can help people in their daily lives.

Not sure where to start? Check out our Developer Resources.

For more CODE updates, you can follow Minister Clement and TBS Canada on Twitter at

@TonyClementCPC and @TBS_Canada.

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