Saturday, 30 May 2015

3rd Annual Open Data Conference in Ottawa


Come and explore a wide variety of open data issues and collaborate on charting the future of open data at the 3rd International Open Data Conference, May 28-29, 2015, in Ottawa, Canada.
The global open data movement has matured since the 2nd International Open Government Data Conference held in Washington in 2012. It’s time to strengthen coordination among open data initiatives across various levels of government, topics, regions, and sectors. It’s time to broaden dialogue to include the voices of experts in sectors that want to use open data and scale-up innovative approaches proven to work. The goal: ensure that all world citizens benefit.
The Government of Canada, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and the World Bank invite you to the 3rd International Open Data Conference. From May 28-29, 2015 sector and open data experts, senior government officials, industry leaders, and civil society champions from around the world will gather in Ottawa, Canada to exchange ideas and work together to enable the data revolution.


Don’t forget to download the IODC2015 App for your mobile device! Through the app you can register for the conference, build a personal itinerary, and keep up to date on the latest news and alerts from IODC organizers!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

Driving Growth in Canada's Digital Economy Using Open Data

The global economy is changing. The pace of technological change and the unprecedented availability of mass amounts of data is creating new opportunities while making older business practices obsolete. 

As a digital economy, Canada's long-term economic competitiveness depends on how well we are able to integrate into and drive this global rising of the digital knowledge economy. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by making previously privately-held government data available to the public and incentivizing Canadians to do their part to unlock its full value. 

“Open data is an important part of Digital Canada 150, which is our Government’s plan to ensure Canada excels in the digital age. CODE 2015 will showcase Canadian talent in the use of open data, and exemplify Canada as a leader in the global digital economy.” 
- James Moore, Minister of Industry and CODE facilitator

CODE 2014, Canada’s first nationwide open data hackathon supported by the federal government, was a huge success in supporting this goal. In February 2014, 900 participants worked 48 hours to develop apps utilizing open data available on Canada’s Open Government Portal to take home their share of the $30,000 offered in prizes. More than 100 apps were submitted ranging from helping new immigrants find places to live, to choosing cars, to managing farming. The apps were as varied as the choice of federal datasets participants had to choose from. 

“Technology competitions are changing how companies innovate around the globe. By engaging a dynamic population of volunteer technologists to develop software applications and pioneering Open Data solutions that approach persistent problems in innovative ways, prize driven competitions offer an opportunity to achieve innovation oriented goals with limited resources.” 
- Ray Sharma, Founder and Chairman, XMG Studio Inc.

What CODE 2014 showed was that if useful open data like real-time transportation data is released publicly in an accessible manner, then developers and entrepreneurs will step up to create apps. 

Now established as an innovation engine to ‘hacktivate’ open data for years to come, CODE is set up to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the changing economy and government and to match the interests of Canadians. 

“We’re aiming to make this year bigger and better. The ultimate goal of CODE is to leverage technology to engage citizens, showcase their ideas, and inspire Canadians to use government open data to drive innovation and economic growth.” 
- Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and CODE facilitator

A number of changes will be introduced in this year alone. One of these being that CODE 2015 seeks to uncover innovations using open data to address critical issues and spur innovation in three specific categories: Youth, Commerce and Quality of Life. For each of these categories a theme will be announced minutes before the hackathon starts to ensure a level playing field for participants. 

CODE 2015 also boasts an increased number of VIP HUBs, expanding from the single VIP HUB in Toronto in 2014 to a total of three – one in Montreal, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto – with each 100 selected participants. Participants will also be able to take part in CODE from Partner HUBs in various locations as well as participating online from their homes, schools, or local coffee shops. This makes CODE 2015 a truly nationwide event. 

Another highlight is that this year participants are strongly encouraged to mash-up federal datasets with those from other levels of government. This will help unleash the full potential of open data as it allows participants to create solutions for challenges in a way that’s not expected and see information from different angles. Participants can weave their own stories based on a good idea and several data sources. This further frees information and can expand the public’s comprehension of what is happening in their city, province and country. 

To encourage all Canadians to take part in CODE – regardless of digital prowess – a matchmaking tool has been developed and is available on the CODE website. It was built to help participants find the right team members to complement their own skills and effectively enables everyone to take an idea from concept to completion. Mobile & web developers, programmers and data scientists can now easily find digital artists, UI/UX designers as well as business graduates, project managers and others via title, skill or keyword search using our matchmaking tool. 

CODE 2015 is setting out to galvanize developers and entrepreneurs to develop apps that will provide value for citizens and drive economic growth. The fact that this is not an unrealistic goal at all is proven by the fact that two startups have been founded or acquired to date based on their work developed during CODE 2014: 

  • The 2014 Grand Champion team Electric Sheep went on to publish their submission and is currently working on a re-brand an re-launch of the original concept with expanded services around immigration: Imminy
  • The top 15 team Farmspot’s startup was acquired by Invoke Labs in BC
“The Government‘s commitment to unleashing the potential of open data and helping to drive innovation represents a unique opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs.” 
- Robert Herjavec, CODE 2014 judge and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank”

We’re in the midst of a data-driven revolution and we are calling on you to take on the opportunities it brings for all Canadians and for the betterment of all living in Canada. Participate in CODE 2015. Hacktivate open data and help accelerate innovation. Registertoday.
- December 8th, 2014

3D Massing

3D Massing

Exploring new ways to share information with each other is a cornerstone of improving the planning process. To do this it is essential to have city-wide data in accessible formats. A variety of 3D digital information and models exist but currently the data is not readily available to the general public. Providing a consistent city-wide 3D data source will link these digital city planning models and materials together and will allow us to imagine our city from different perspectives. The Open Date site will enable access to  to application developers, designers, urban planners and architects, and the public. Ideally this will enable the creation of a visual portal and access to a large collection of city building ideas.
Further to the Open Government Licence, the Context Massing Model is being provided by City Planning on the OpenData website for information and illustrative purposes only. City Planning does not warranty the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any precision purpose or use of context massing model for such purposes, nor are any such warranties to be implied or inferred with respect to Context Massing Model as furnished on the website.
City Planning and the City are not liable for any deficiencies in the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of Context Massing Model, or applications utilizing Context Massing Model, provided by any third party.
For further information visit the Urban Design web site

Monday, 20 October 2014

Ebola and open data

Get involved with planning and support related to health outbreaks and specifically ebola in New York.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Open Data meets Football?

KID STORIES FOR SPORT DADS provides you with real time updates for major sports headlines based on your favourite teams. If you're seeking sports headlines for teams in the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) or the National Hockey League (NHL) then be sure to use Kid Stories For Sports Dads. 

We know that quality time reading to your child is very important, but so is your time! Share your love for sports with your child as they become the star of their own sports story that also happens to include live sports headlines from the four major sports in North America. Kid Stories For Sports Dads also includes a free drawing app where your child can use their imagination and draw scenes from the big game. 

Also, enjoy the Speedy logo game where you child must try and click on team logos before the timer expires. See if they can beat their record every day. Kid Stories For Sports Dads is working on not just more free stories but it is also expanding to include Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and professional soccer. With Kid Stories For Sports Dads you'll never miss that important time with your child or team updates!

Download now in Google Play (

Sunday, 13 July 2014

DIY Apps For Women

Apps4Canadians has recently launched a new DIY app called DIY CHIC ( that was focused at helping women doing DIY or home reno projects.  While working on the project we came across some other great DIY apps that we'd like to mention here.  The apps are listed in no particular order.

Craftgawker Lite

Looking for arts and crafts ideas? Then the mobile companion to is the perfect iPhone app for you. craftgawker is a photo gallery that allows you to visually search and discover handmade arts and crafts to inspire your own projects. We publish photography submitted by craft bloggers from around the world. Our editors review submissions daily and choose the highest quality, most creative images to showcase.

Martha Stewart CraftStudio

Our easy-to-use app allows you to personalize cards, invitations, thank-you notes, scrapbook pages, keepsakes, and more. Browse through an array of colored and patterned “paper” backgrounds, import your own photos, and embellish with an abundance of stickers, stamps, glitter, textured borders, fonts, and punches. Tap to share your works of art with family and friends. So versatile, it’s the only digital crafting tool you’ll need!


For over 50 years, PANTONE has been the international language of color. Why struggle with color communication when you can simply reference a PANTONE Color and designers and manufacturers all over the world will know your exact hue. With the myPANTONE™ app you have access to over 13,000 PANTONE® Colors, including the PANTONE PLUS SERIES and Fashion + Home colors. Easily create color palettes for inspiration and share them with friends, clients and vendors. myPANTONE offers designers and color conscious consumers a way to take PANTONE Colors with them wherever they go. Can’t remember what a color looks like? Now you can have Portable Color Memory™.


"Dimension" is a revolutionary 3D tool case that contains measuring tools animated with gorgeous 3D graphics.

- Dimension wakes up the distance meter that was sleeping in your iPhone. Thanks to our revolutionary sonar combined with the camera of the iPhone, you will able to measure any distances in a house or appartment and save them to use them later on and build an accurate plan.
... but that's not all ...
"With the I.D. Wood app for your iPhone, you'll look like a pro every time."
"A well devised reference tool for those on the run, and also those perplexed by Bruce Hoadley’s work." Curated Magazine
"A must for any green builder or customer who is conscious about the materials they are going to buy....this app should be de rigueur." Charles and Hudson
"Remember the classic wood info and identification books on your shelf? This is the electronic version of those resources – somewhat easier to carry around in your pocket." Woodworker's Journal
I.D. Wood is your Pocket Guide to Woods from around the world with full screen samples and detailed information for over 200 different woods.

I.D. Wood

"Turn your already awesome iPhone into the best thing ever, with a decent wood guidebook." Sal Vaglica, This Old House

DIY CHIC added to Google Play Store

DIY CHIC (do it yourself CHIC) has been added to the Google Play Store on Sunday July 13th, 2014.  Once published it will be available for download here

Use DIY CHIC to help you with your renovation or DIY projects. Use the Inventory Tracker to create a list of your tools and the Shopping List to remember what items you need for your next project and avoid buying twice and the return lanes. 

DIY CHIC also includes multiple calculators to help you determine the correct amount of materials and it provides a daily DIY tip guide from several leading DIY sites. 

If you need to know when the next waste/garbage pickup is scheduled then use our simple to use address feature to find the schedule for your street. This app uses open data data sets from numerous towns and cities in both Canada and the United States with the help of ReCollect widget.

Here are some sample screenshots from DIY CHIC.

main navigation page 

use the inventory tracker to know what materials you already own

create your project shopping list and stay organized

learn about new DIY and reno tips and tricks with new updates each day

find the garbage waste schedule for your specified address