Responsive Devices
Open Data App Contest As part of the Open Data Pilot Project, HRM is launching Apps4Halifax to encourage the meaningful and productive use of the released datasets to improve citizen engagement and enhance transparency. The contest seeks to reward both citizens and developers with some great prizes.

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Important Reminder

As the Apps4Halifax app development submission deadline draws near, we want to thank developers for their participation and feedback on HRM’s Open Data Pilot project, and continue to welcome your feedback on the datasets in our open data catalogue.

Just a reminder that for the purposes of the Apps4Halifax contest, the 17 datasets released through our HRM open data catalogue are the only datasets that the Apps4Halifax team can ensure meet the criteria and intent of the Open Data Pilot Project. They were chosen at the time because we determined they were of the highest quality (complete and accurate), with good data management practices already in place.

The quality and reliability of data pulled from any source other than on our catalogue is outside of the Apps4Halifax contest administrators’ control.

Also, we know developers are committed to fixing bugs and upgrading their apps, but there is an important rule in Apps4Halifax we want to highlight so no one disqualifies their app submission: After the close of the Public Voting Period on January 6, 2014 at 4pm and up until the end of the Judging period on January 13th, 2014 at 4pm, you are not permitted to make or allow to be made any changes or alterations to the app(s) that you submit. This includes, but is not limited to, any bug fixes, features or functionality.

Working with Socrata’s Open Data Catalogue API

Socrata, the HRM Open Data solution, provides SODA 2.0 API which is a RESTful API for accessing the datasets. Advanced operations such as querying and filtering are available, with the drawback being this can only be done with the attributes in the datasets, spatial queries are not available through the SODA 2.0 API with HRM datasets.

In order to work with the spatial information in the datasets, they have to be exported. To export a dataset, click on the (Export) sidebar button and then select the "Download" subsection. The sidebar will display the available file formats for your dataset. Spatial data is available in the following formats: KML, KMZ, Shapefile, while the tabular data (only including attributes, not the spatial information) is available in the following formats: CSV, JSON, PDF, RDF, RSS, XLS, XLSX, XML.

A Shapefile is a geospatial vector format developed and regulated by ESRI. It is widely support by other GIS software solutions. KML, KMZ are popularly related to Google Earth and are an open standard regulated by the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Below are links to a few samples of open source applications that support Shapefiles or KML/KMZ:

Other Resources

Apps4Halifax Facebook Group

An Apps4Halifax Facebook group has been created to allow for developers to share thoughts, ideas and information that relate the contest.


Mobile app developers can download a free version of IBM's Worklight Developer Edition

Worklight helps you build, test, and deploy native, HTML5, and hybrid mobile apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices. This site also has videos, self-paced modules, exercises, and code samples to help you get started, as well as a community of Worklight experts to help support you in your mobile app development journey.

Questions about your app strategy can also be directed to IBM at with the subject line: Apps4Halifax.

Adding Maps to Your Apps

Enhance your app with an interactive map using Esri’s ArcGIS technology and you’ll qualify for the Maps in Apps Challenges.

Use ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud mapping platform, to access free APIs, tools, content and geospatial Web services to geo-enable your app, and host your app in the Esri cloud. Develop mapping apps in the platform of your choice using the free ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex and Silverlight, and deploy your app on any device.

To get started, visit Here, you’ll be able to:

  1. Sign up for a free developer trial account.
  2. Access open source code from GitHub.
  3. Integrate maps and services using free Esri data including basemaps and a wealth of other content (You’ll also find a link to HRM data).
  4. See sample apps on this site and access links to the Apps4Halifax list of ideas.

Follow the ArcGIS Developer Community Blog for the latest news on ArcGIS development tools and resources. Check out recorded and upcoming Training Web Seminars and events for Developers, as well as other useful resources on the Esri Canada Web site.

Contact Esri Canada’s Business Partner Team if you have any questions about getting started.