What is CODE?

The Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) is an intense 48-hour coding sprint where innovators from coast to coast to coast compete to build the best app utilizing federal government data from Canada's Open Government Portal. CODE promotes the use of Open Data and teaches developers and innovators how to work with the datasets found on Canada's Open Government Portal to create open data applications that improve Canadian lives. CODE 2015 is the second annual edition in the CODE event series.

To encourage the meaningful and productive use of federal datasets, CODE aims to inspire innovation in three categories: Youth, Commerce and Quality of Life. All eligible submissions must conform to a category specific theme, which will be announced minutes before the hackathon begins.

A series of webinars and blog posts will be released here on the CODE website leading up to the event to shed light on the industry dynamics in each category, highlight critical issues and elaborate on how these could be solved through the use of Open Data. Make sure to sign up for the CODE newsletter and receive updates and notifications about CODE straight to your inbox.

What is Open Data?

The Government of Canada creates massive amounts of data to support services such as health, environment, agriculture and natural resources. Open Data is the practice of making machine-readable data freely available to anyone to develop all kinds of new and useful products and applications that surpass the initial value of the original data. Utilizing Open Data offers opportunities to spur innovation, fuel growth, and improve the lives of Canadians.

How can I register to participate in CODE?

You can register right here on the CODE website.

When is the competition?

Ready? Set? CODE! Coding starts at 6pm (EST) February 20th and ends 48 hours later on February 22nd, 2015 at 6pm (EST).

Where is the competition?

Apply to participate from one of our three CODE VIP HUBs in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal today. Partner HUBs are available to everyone.


How many people can be on a team?

Team size can range from 1 - 4 people.

How do I participate at one of the VIP Hubs?

In order to participate from one of the VIP CODE HUBs you need to apply through the CODE website. We will choose participants for the VIP CODE HUBs based on the information provided in their individual profiles on the CODE website and their capacity to be present at the HUB. Please ensure your individual profiles are accurate and complete if you're interested in attending a CODE VIP HUB.

How do I participate at one of the Partner HUBs?

Partner HUBs are available to everyone. A list of self-sustaining HUBs is available on our HUBs page. If your organization would like to become a Partner HUB, please contact us

Can I still participate if I’m not part of a HUB?

Yes. Anyone can participate virtually from anywhere in Canada as long as they register on the CODE website. You will need internet access to submit your app.

What happens after I submit?

After your app is submitted and received, all team members will receive an email indicating we have successfully received it.

How do I register?

Registration is easy! All you have to do is create a CODE 2015 account. You can do this through Facebook, Google+ or with an email address. Click the “Register” button on the CODE websites homepage or click “Login” in the top right corner of any page. From there, choose the “Sign Up” option and follow the directions.

How do I create a profile?

Once you’ve registered, your profile will automatically be created. We recommend adding a profile pic, your skills and experience and contact info.

How do I edit my profile?

To edit your profile you must be logged in, then click your profile icon located in the top right corner of the CODE website. Be sure to check out our Profile Creation video for more tips on how to fill out your profile.

Do I have to create a team?

Yes. Even if you are competing as a one-person team, you’ll need to create a team, and fill out the profile. You need to be in a team to submit your CODE 2015 application. Your team page will also showcase your CODE application for the Fan Favourite Prize of $5,000, so make sure its completely filled out!

How will my application be judged?

We will be judging CODE 2015 applications on five different criteria: User Experience, Use of Open Data, Innovation, Potential, and Functionality.

For more information on the scoring format, and judging criteria please visit our Judging page.


Do I own my IP?

YES. You and your team own your IP and can do whatever you want with it.

Will I have an opportunity to publish my app after the competition?

YES. Every team has the right to publish their submissions themselves, or with the help of a publisher. In addition, the CODE team will work with the Top 15 Teams to attract the attention of potential investors or publishing partners.

What data sets am I required to implement in order for my submission to be eligible?

You must use at least one federal dataset available via the search function on for your submission to be eligible. In order to make your CODE submission unique and innovative we recommend using as many datasets as possible, and mashing additional data sets from provinces, territories, or municipalities together to tell a unique story.

Can I use non-government data sets?

Yes. If you feel additional data sets will improve the quality of your app, you can use additional data sets. Please keep in mind the focus of the app should remain on federal data sets.

What is the best way to work with data sets?

The Government of Canada's Open Government Portal has set up great resources to help everyone get started using data sets. Check it out here.

How do I submit my app?

When you have finished your app, go to your team page and press the submit button. This will take you to our submission form. If you created a web app, you will need to submit the URL. We will not be accepting any web apps that are not hosted.

For mobile and web apps you will need to share an IBM, GitHub or Bitbucket repository. Instructions will be provided on the submission page.

When do I submit my app?

You can submit your app at any time during the competition. We will not accept submissions after 6pm E.S.T., Sunday February 22nd, 2015.

Why do I have to give access to my code?

We will be reviewing your code to ensure that no changes have been made after you submitted. You own your code and XMG and the Government of Canada will not sell, distribute or use it.

Can I submit more than once?

Yes. The last submission we receive before 6pm E.S.T., Sunday February 22nd, 2015 from your team will be the one that we judge.

How do I make sure you can test my iOS app?

You'll need to add our CODE devices to your provisioning profile. To do this, log into your Apple developer account and head over to the iOS developer center.

From there you need to add at least one of the following devices to your device list:

iPad Air

iPhone 5S

iPhone 6 Plus

iPad Mini

iPhone 6

After you have added the devices, you'll need to create or edit the provisioning profile you plan on using to build your app. Then simply add the devices to the provisioning profile.

For more information on how to sign your ios app, please go to

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