CODE – the Canadian Open Data Experience Hackathon – took place February 28th to March 2nd with developers from across the country working around the 48-hour clock, creating apps that would increase opportunities and constitute tools Canadians could use to make day-to-day life easier.

I was vacationing in the sunny south during CODE but was grateful to be able to livestream the Inspiration Day and follow along with the #CODE2014 tweets throughout the weekend. CODE broke the record for largest competitive hackathon in Canada with over 900 participants from Victoria to Gander, 230 teams, and 110 apps submitted. The Inspiration Day had over 700 simultaneous online viewers at its peak.

“From air and water quality monitoring, to border wait times, to information on permanent residency applications, crime statistics and vehicle recalls, Open Data has the potential to drive social, political, and economic change,”  Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board of Canada said in a letter to CODE participants. “This data is a treasure trove of information that offers endless possibilities for researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The apps created during the event have been reviewed by an expert panel and the top 15 finalists were announced on March 17. The top 15 teams will be invited to pitch their apps to a panel of industry experts and potential investors at the CODE Grand Finale March 28th. Cash (including a 25K Grand Prize) and in-kind prize packages will be awarded to the top three teams.

To demonstrate the variety of apps that were developed during the Hackathon here are five videos from the 110 apps submitted: Total Recall, GEDS Next, Farmspot, AutoScout and Charity Pie.

You may have missed CODE but you can still hack and mashup some of the featured datasets. For new and experienced hackers visit the Developers’ Corner to browse through videos, presentations, and tips on how to use Government of Canada data to assist you with developing your own apps.

I mentioned CODE last month in my “Understanding Open Data: Don’t get left behind” blog post. If you would like to learn more about Open Data check out @Kentdaitken ‘s “Why Open Data Matters” GitHub page for all things Open Data.

Stay tuned for more Open Data excitement – there have already been discussions around a potential CODE 2.0.

Jodi LeBlanc
Jodi LeBlanc is a Values and Ethics Advisor with Veterans Affairs Canada in Prince Edward Island. She is a collaborator/innovator for numerous public service initiatives and national networks and is a member of CGE’s editorial advisory board. You can connect with her via @jodilynne3 or