Halifax Announces Winners of City’s Open Data App Challenge

Esri Canada and Halifax have announced the winners of the Maps in Apps Challenges at Apps4Halifax, the regional municipalities first open data app development contest.

The contest, open to both startups and students, 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 over the weekend 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 of 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,” Miller continued. “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.”



Hike Halifax by ASA Software won the Startup Challenge, an Android app that provides instant access to all the trails in Halifax on an interactive map.

Three students won the challenge:

  • HFX Next Bus by Tyler Pachal and Jonathan Wong of Dalhousie University, whose Android app keeps track of users’ favourite bus stops in Halifax and tells them what time each bus will arrive at those stops.
  • Historic HaliTour by Jeremy Tupper, of Dalhousie University, whose web app allows users to take a virtual tour of numerous historic sites around the Halifax downtown and waterfront area.
  • Know It All by Jerome Pelletier of Saint Mary’s University, whose 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.

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.