What is the ECCE App Challenge?

The ECCE App Challenge is an app development competition held by Esri Canada to help promote innovation and creativity within the Esri Canada GIS Centres of Excellence. Each year, teams of students at ECCE schools across Canada are tasked to create new and unique apps powered by Esri technology and open data to help address a problem related to a specific theme.

The App Challenge for 2024 will take place between February 16th and April 5th. Teams at each school will be given one week to complete their apps, and to submit their source code accompanied by supporting documentation, team profiles, and a video sales pitch for their app. These will be assembled and hosted in a GitHub repository used by the ECCE to showcase the apps created by each team, alongside previous years’ entries that may be viewed from the ECCE GitHub account homepage. You can view the source code of each app submitted, and starting with the 2017 challenge, you can view profiles of teams, access their video presentations via YouTube, and interact with live demos of their apps. Over time, some of these apps begin to stop working, however their video presentations can be used to see the submissions.

Challenge Guidelines

How to I register or join a team?

In order to participate in the ECCE App Challenge, you must be a student registered at an ECCE school. If want to join a team, or already have a group of students from your school organized to form your own team, contact one of the ECCE directors identified for your school. The schedule will be determined at each school to take place over a one-week period within the February-April timeframe identified above.

How do I submit my app?

When your team has completed a project for the App Challenge, all of the required deliverables, including your app’s source code (if applicable), documentation, and copy of your video presentation, will need to be shared with Esri Canada staff administering (e.g., using a secure filesharing service). Once all submissions have been received from teams at all schools, they will be published in the ECCE App Challenge GitHub repository, along with a team profile showcasing your team members and your project.

What are “open data”, and where can I get them?

Open data are freely available data sets that anybody can use without restrictions. There are many different sources where you can obtain open data from, for example:

Where should I start..?

We’ve put together a series of videos to help you get started with the ECCE App Challenge.

Please take the time to watch the whole series before you get started building your apps so that you are familiar with the variety of options available for creating content and building apps with the ArcGIS platform, and to ensure that you are able to share your apps with us when you are finished:

Please subscribe to the Esri Canada Higher Education & Research YouTube Channel to keep up to date with the latest ECCE videos.

Once you and your team have come up with a general idea for your app, one of the best places to start would be the ECCE Resources page. You can find many useful developer-oriented materials to help you build your app by using the tags listed to filter resources. You can also check out some of the example projects from past App Challenges hosted on the ECCE Github page for inspiration.


If you have any questions related to the ECCE App Challenge, please contact the ECCE directors at your school, or email us at (ecce@esri.ca).

Good luck!