Canada’s federal government has an abundance of data and now it’s asking Canadian software programmers and innovators to figure out how to best use it.
In Canada’s first country-wide open data hackathon, dubbed CODE for Canadian Open Data Experience, Ottawa is calling on Canada’s computing and design talent to use the government’s open data to create apps that will help Canadians.
“From air and water quality monitoring, to border wait times, to information on permanent residency applications, crime statistics and vehicle recalls, Open Data has the potential to drive social, political, and economic change,” Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board of Canada said in a letter to CODE participants. “This data is a treasure trove of information that offers endless possibilities for researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
“CODE is part of our Government’s broader commitment to be at the forefront of the global Open Data movement. I truly believe that Open Data is one of the most valuable natural resources of the 21st century, and to fully capitalize on this resource, governments need to be 100 per cent committed to getting their data into the hands of entrepreneurs, as well as other data enthusiasts in schools and society.”
The 48-hour hackathon, which starts at 5 pm on February 28 and ends at 5 pm March 2, is being hosted by Toronto’s XMG Studio Inc. Participants can attend the CODE VIP Hub in Toronto on Feb. 28th or take part virtually – from homes, schools, universities and coffee shops across Canada. The government’s Open Data portal was launched last year at http://data.gc.ca.
There is a $25,000 grand prize for CODE, donated by OpenText, with a $5,000 second prize and $1,000 for third place.
If you wouldn’t know computer code from a security code, don’t worry, this hackathon could be made for you.
There’s a matchmaking tool on the CODE web site so if you have an idea but you need to pull together a team to make it happen, you can create one online.
Fifteen teams will be chosen to pitch their apps to a industry experts and investors who will decide on the winners.
The winning applications could be released by their creators or in co-operation with a third party.