Ready to test your coding skills against students across Canada? Join the ECCE App Challenge!


What is the ECCE App Challenge?

The ECCE App Challenge is a coding competition held by Esri Canada to help promote innovation and creativity within the Centres of Excellence. You and a team of colleagues will be tasked with creating an app powered by open data to help address a problem related to a specific theme.

Several possible themes will be provided at the beginning of the challenge, and your team will have one week to build an app and record a sales pitch explaining what the app does, and why it is valuable. All submitted apps will then be evaluated by a panel of 3 judges, and a team will be chosen as the winner, and awarded prizes.

Challenge Guidelines

  • Maximum 4 students per team
  • Your app must use open data
  • Your app must be based around one of the provided themes
  • Your team can choose any platform for development (e.g., Web, iOS, Android)
  • Your app must include at least one Esri component (e.g., ArcGIS API for Javascript, ArcGIS SDK for iOS), although other additional technologies are encouraged
  • Your team must produce a sales pitch video explaining what your app does, and why it is valuable
  • Any source code that you produce for your app must be shared under the GPL 3.0 open source license
  • Your team must submit a completed app to the ECCE program at the end of the week

How do I register?

In order to register your team for the ECCE App Challenge, you must contact the ECCE director at your school. Provide your director with the names and email addresses of your team members, and choose a team name.

What can I win?

After the judges have reviewed all of the submitted apps, a winning team will be chosen. Winners will be awarded an all expenses paid trip for all team members to the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California (June 10-14, 2017).

What’s Github?

Github is a website and hosting service based on the Git distributed revision control system. It allows you to easily share code and facilitates collaborative software development. You may create your own Github account so that you can easily download and contribute to open source projects. Please do not publish your App Challenge projects publicly on your own GitHub account until all submissions have been posted to the ECCE GitHub repository first.. If you would like track your source code revisions as you work on the app challenge, you can uses a local Git repository to track changes and coordinate distributes revisions to the app’s code among your team members.

How do I submit my app?

Please email a ZIP file of your app and the required deliverables to (if necessary, coordinate with us if you need to exchange large files). Once all submissions have been received from teams at all schools, they will be published in the the ECCE App Challenge 2017 Github repository.

Who are the judges?

Three judges have been chosen from key industry sectors to participate in the evaluation each team’s submission. Once the competition closes, the judges will be able to access the apps on Github, evaluate them based on predefined criteria, and score each submission. The team with the highest aggregate score will win. In event of a tie, the tied teams will be sent back to the judges for a re-evaluation.

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 subscribe to the Esri Canada Centres of Excellence 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 hosted on the ECCE Github page for inspiration. Lastly, if you need help to develop your strategy to succeed in the App Challenge, enroll in the free ArcGIS App Strategies training seminar.


If you have any questions related to the ECCE App Challenge, please feel free to ask them in the comments below, contact your ECCE director, or contact us by email ( Good luck!