Students and startup win big prizes for creating useful apps with Esri technology and Halifax open data
HALIFAX – January 21, 2014 – Esri Canada congratulates the winners of its Maps in Apps Challenges at Apps4Halifax, the first open data app development contest hosted by the Halifax Regional Municipality. The company sponsored startup and student challenges, which required participants to develop apps that would improve Halifax residents’ lives using Esri’s cloud-based ArcGIS Online technology and content, and the City’s open data. Prizes were presented to the winners at the Appsalute Award Ceremony on Saturday, January 18 at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre.
“We were very impressed with the innovative entries in the Maps in Apps Challenges and extend our thanks to everyone who made submissions for their efforts,” remarked Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “It’s really rewarding to see our cloud mapping platform used to bring the community’s creative ideas and Halifax’s open data to life through interactive apps. These maps and apps will help citizens learn about their city and make better decisions in their daily lives. We’re proud to have been part of this inaugural contest and we hope it will spur the development of other open data apps in Halifax and across Canada.”
The winning apps include:
Maps in Apps Startup Challenge –
· Hike Halifax by ASA Software – This Android app provides instant access to all the trails in Halifax on an interactive map. At a glance, users can view all nearby trails or request directions to a specific trail. The app has been optimized for both smartphones and tablets.
Maps in Apps Student Challenge –
· HFX Next Bus by Tyler Pachal and Jonathan Wong, Dalhousie University – This Android app keeps track of users’ favourite bus stops in Halifax and tells them what time each bus will arrive at those stops. It allows users to find bus stops in various ways and add them to their list, which can be saved to their device and remain viewable at any time.
· Historic HaliTour by Jeremy Tupper, Dalhousie University – This Web app allows users to take a virtual tour of numerous historic sites around the Halifax downtown and waterfront area. It maps museums, forts, government buildings, ships, churches and other historically relevant locations around Halifax, along with facts and pictures of each site.
· Know It All by Jerome Pelletier, Saint Mary’s University – This Web app allows users to explore various city services and facilities including bus routes, bus shelters, bus terminals, accessible bus stops, community boundaries, polling districts, parks and garbage pickup schedules.
“Esri’s ArcGIS Online was quite easy to work with,” said Jeremy Tupper, a winner of the Student Challenge. “It had great tools and templates to help speed up the creation of my Web maps, and even provided a platform for me to host and share them for free. I’ll definitely use it again for future Web maps or location-based applications.”
The Startup Challenge winner received a prize package that includes access to ArcGIS technology, training and mentoring with senior Esri Canada management. Each Student Challenge winner also received a $2,000 cash prize, access to ArcGIS technology and training, and an opportunity to speak at a geographic information system (GIS) Conference. Winners were selected based on the use of Esri technology and content, accessibility of the application by a broad range of users, usefulness to Halifax residents as well as creativity, originality, uniqueness and innovative nature of the application.
The Apps4Halifax contest was created to encourage public engagement and inspire the development of user-friendly applications for Nova Scotia citizens using HRM open data. The Open Data Pilot, launched in 2013 at data.halifax.ca, enables public viewing and use of a selection of HRM datasets free of charge for a 12-month period. For more information, visit apps4halifax.ca, follow @hfxgov on twitter or become a member of the Apps4Halifax Developers Facebook Group at: facebook.com/groups/
About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300. Information about the company can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.