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Esri Canada Centres of Excellence App Challenge: The Competition Is on!

As most of us in Canada are just waking from our long hibernation, teams of students across the country have been furiously working this week to develop an innovative app using open data and Esri software.

esri featured

The ECCE App Challenge is a coding competition held by Esri Canada to encourage creativity within their current network of higher education Centres of Excellence. Back in the summer, we brought you interviews with both Dr. Brent Hall of Esri Canada, and several university professors regarding the launch of the Centres of Excellence. We encourage you to take a look back at those articles to get a better understanding of this program.

“We held this first instance of what we hope will become an annual app challenge to encourage students from our network of centres of excellence to use one or more of the new and exciting app development tools and frameworks that have been released in the last two years,” explains Dr. Brent Hall, Director of Education and Research at Esri Canada. “This competition gives 14 teams of keen students the opportunity to step aside from their course work and research for a short time to spread their wings and see what they can produce.”

The 14 teams are tasked with using open spatial data to develop an app on some aspect of government services in Canada, for any of the following themes:

  • Housing
  • Health (human and/or animal/environmental)
  • Parks and recreation
  • Education, including daycare
  • Public/private transport, including infrastructure
  • Garbage collection/snow/branch removal
  • Emergency management
  • Information services (online information access and use)
  • Utilities

App challenges might be tough, but they’re well worth the effort for students and young people. It’s a great way to take your knowledge out of the classroom and get some hands-on practice, flex your skills and creativity, explore open data, get valuable feedback on your work, and most importantly, add to your portfolio and resume. If that’s not enough, there’s a great prize in store for the winners!

One winning team will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to the Esri International User Conference this July, in San Diego. From seminars, workshops, presentations, and networking, this is an excellent opportunity for young people on the verge of starting their careers.

Not only are teams tasked with creating an innovative app, but they also must face the unique challenge of creating a sales pitch explaining the value of their app. These will be reviewed by a panel of three highly respected judges representing different sectors. The winning team will be announced March 20.

The ECCE App Challenge ends on March 6. Best of luck to all the students who are participating, and happy coding!

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