Why is CODE Important?

March 19, 2015

The Canadian Open Data Experience, or CODE, is an Open Data appathon where developers, students, and Open Data enthusiasts are invited to use Government of Canada data sets to develop consumer-friendly applications. It’s the first national appathon that specifically calls upon participants to re-purpose Canadian federal Open Data into something novel and useful with the goal of solving problems and increasing productivity for Canadians. CODE is coming up quickly, and we are very excited.

In order to benefit from Open Data, governments need to share data in ways that are freely accessed and understood by the public. Federal government data has previously been an untapped natural resource whose potential value multiplies when combined with data from the private sector and other levels of government. The federal government’s data sets can be found at the Open Data Portal – data.gc.ca. All this information is raw material—CODE participants will use their imagination and creativity to increase productivity with the data and solve everyday issues, such as which drop-in health clinic to go to and airport security wait times. 

As President of the Treasury Board, I hope the awareness generated by CODE will help Canadians to fully comprehend the economic benefits of Open Data—connecting the dots between the private and public sectors to facilitate new partnerships.

New apps stemming from the CODE appathon represent a new beginning—a means of identifying fresh ways of using data for specific benefits. Innovation is only limited by the drive and imagination of our top minds and the enthusiasm of our Open Data proponents.

Imagine what could be built by browsing the data sets compiled by over 30 departments and agencies, covering a range of topics from housing, to health, to environmental data.  By exploring the Open Data Portal, individuals can use local census or crime statistics, immigration or air quality data, coast-to-coast mapping data, and much more.

If you’re not signed up to participate in CODE yet, there is still time to do so on XMG’s website. Check back here often for news and results. Let’s make CODE truly fantastic, and the first of many Open Data experiences.

Minister Tony Clement
President of the Treasury Board

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This is very exciting!