2017 VODday - Vancouver Open Data Day Hackathon

Check out the results of our 2017 Open Data Day Hackathon!

Date: March 4, 2017

Location: The Tribe Space - Suite 401, 68 Water Street

Hashtag #VODDay (Vancouver Open Data Day!)

Livestream:OpenDataBC #VODDay Periscope Broadcasts

Celebrate International Open Data Day by participating in Vancouver’s Open Data Day Hackathon on March 4, 2017!

Hosted by the Open Data Society of BC

2017 is an important year to recognize the importance of open data access, policy and transparency in Canada and worldwide.

Mashing up one or more Open Data sets, teams will create meaningful open data apps or visualization that help address challenges we face, creating a prototype to be demoed at the end of the day.

A competition panel will vote for the best prototypes that help address challenges on a local or global scale.

Join the VODDay-Hackathon Slack Channel

Join into the VODDay Hackathon Slack Channel to start chatting with participants and ensure you get important updates. We will be using the channel throughout the hackathon.

Sign up page to for opendatabc.slack.com

Trouble with the invite? Email @info@opendatabc.ca.


RSVP to the Vancouver Open Data Day Hackathon on Meetup


8:30am-9:00am Registration and morning fuel

9:00am Welcoming Remarks

9:30am Idea pitching, team selection

10:00am-12:30pm Hackaway!

12:30pm-12:45 team update

12:45-1:30 Lunch by the famous Tayybeh: A Celebration of Syrian Cuisine

1:30-5:45pm Hackaway!

5:45pm - you're hungry? Have some pizza! From the new Joe Pizza

5:45-7:30 - finish up your prototypes

7:30 - 8:00pm - make sure your prepared to demo and have update the project page!

8:00 - 9:15pm demo time & competition panel voting!

9:30pm-9pm Hackathon awards, & sponsorship recognition

Hackathon Participants


  • You don't need to use only Open Data sets, but it should play an important role.

  • You may want to flesh out you idea before the hackathon.

  • You may want to organize a team of awesome datageeks (developers, designers, data analysts, SMEs etc) beforehand.

  • You can join a team with a cool idea on arrival, or recruit datageeks to create your own team.

  • You need to create a prototype of your open data app or visualization for the competition panel to review.

  • You will have an awesome time celebrating International Open Data Day in Vancouver BC!

  • You may receive an awesome prize!

Who should attend

  • Developers - who are super talented and can make people's dreams come true

  • Designers - who love making data beautiful and meaningful and help people see their dreams come true

  • GIS Gurus - who just love data and maps and are awesome

  • UX/UI peeps - who are awesome, love making things useable, and help people see their dreams come true

  • Product Developers - who love prototyping and researching products that help people see their dreams come true

  • Non profits and other organizations - with with app ideas, problems to solve, and amazing stories to tell

  • Librarians - who are awesome, have ideas, and love data

  • Statisticians, data scientists & data analysts - who just love working with data and see meaning where others see chaos

  • Everyday peeps - with app ideas, problems to solve, efficiencies to find

  • Public servants - who see challenges to address or have great ideas to bring to life

Open Data Day Challenges

For Open Data Day 2017, the International Open Data Day Organizers- supported by the Open Knowledge Foundation - are focusing on be on four key areas they believe open data can solve.

Open research data

Tracking public money flows

Open data for environment

Open data for human rights

OpenDataBC Challenge

Help a local community, government or organization identify and tackle a challenge using open data.

Can't find any relevant open data? Create the business case for opening the data up, and map out a a open data standard or OpenAPI and illustrate how your prototype would use the data to address the challenge.

More challenge suggestions coming soon!

City of Vancouver

Bike Rack Analysis

Using the City's Bike Rack data and Local Area Boundary data, determine if there is a way to map each bike rack location to a its local area. If there is a relatively easy way to determine the relevant local area for bike racks, the City may be able to include this information into the dataset or apply the same methodology to other similar datasets.

Explore answering...

  • Is there a difference in rate of change since 2008 and/or from the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan
  • Are the number of bike racks enough to cover the needs of the local areas (based on demographics and mode of transportation in the area). Are we meeting the change of demographics? If not, which area(s) should have more/less bike racks?

Analyze the impact to businesses with bike lanes. Use the City's business licence data (from 1997 to current year) and bikeway data, and check out the City's catalog for “Census local area profiles 2001, 2006, 2011) that has data categorized by the 22 local planning areas. "Statistics Canada also has 2016 data available that may be valuable to review.

Elected Official Decision Tracking

Using the City's council voting record and Council budget and expenses datasets, illustrate how elected official actions align with campaign promises.


Reach out to Linda Low through our Slack Channel or through @VanOpenData



Details coming soon! In the meantime, check out all the provincial data on DataBC.

City of Surrey

Trends in Community Energy and Emissions

The BC Climate Action Secretariat recently released the 2012 energy and emissions inventories for 197 communities across BC. Adding the 2012 data alongside those for 2007 and 2010 inventory years enables opportunities to identify trends. What are those trends? Are there common trends across communities? Who are the outliers? How could we best understand why we see these trends?

Seeing is believing; data visualization enthusiasts are encouraged to explore techniques that would allow non-experts to perform simple queries for individual communities and communicate the outcomes.

Other datasets that may be of interest are:

  • Community and Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Mode of Travel to Work

  • Green Certification for Existing Buildings

  • Place of Work

  • Renewable Energy in City District Energy System

All available here


Reach out to Rory Tooke, Community Energy Planner and/or Mark Laudon, Senior GIS Analyst on site at the hackathon or through the OpenDataBC VODday Slack Channel.

Understanding Community Connectedness and Sense of Belonging

How do you measure belonging and connection in communities?  Recent reports published in partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and UBC Faculty of Medicine offers valuable datasets available to use and speaks to the importance of belonging and social connection in communities across the Lower Mainland. Some additional background information on research and measurement of connected and engaged residents in metro Vancouver can be found in this reportfrom the Vancouver Foundation.

These reports are snap shots of research, and it remains very difficult to evaluate and track the impact of initiatives or civic investment on such a difficult to measure topic.  The City of Surrey collects a large amount of information in many related and unrelated areas – a key first step is to explore how we can creatively utilize the existing information we do have to create a better understanding of belonging and connection in Surrey?

Explore Answering

  • What exists in our existing available data sources that can be used as indicators of belonging or connection?

  • How could we employ those indicators over the long term to track impact and evaluate Return on Investments (ROI)?

  • How can we utilize different data sets to identify interventions and areas that will produce good ROI?

Other datasets that may be of interest are:


Reach out to David Sadler, Community Services Coordinator and/or Mark Laudon, Senior GIS Analyst on site at the hackathon or through the OpenDataBC VODday Slack Channel.


ProtoHack Challenge

ProtoHack challenges you to present a project that best demonstrates an innovative concept with a proven problem-solution fit, product-market fit, and business model. The final product does not need to be coded or programmed in completion, but will require at minimum a prototype. Successful teams must also incorporate open data to their concepts or address what open data they might pursue to further their ideas. Check out ProtoHack, and the ProtoHack process for inspiration.

Open Data Day Competition

Based on the prototypes shared by hackathon teams, our panel of hackathon competition judges will pick a winner for each of the following categories.


Thanks to our amazing sponsors we will have six $500 cash prizes to be split between select winning teams.


Winning ProtoHack Team gets free admission to ProtoHack Vancouver on April 29, 2017.

All Vancouver Open Data Day Hackathon participants awarded 25% discount for ProtoHack Vancouver on April 29, 2017. Use discount code: OPENDATA to save 25%.


  • Gillian Vrooman, Open Data Society of BC
  • Challenge champions from Data BC, City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, ProtoHack

Competition Panel

What do our competition panelists have in common? They are all innovation advocates - from civictech and marketing to startup and business development.

Luke Closs

Director of Operations at Recollect

Adam La France

Co-founder and CEO, Knomos

Jenn Lowther

Founder & Managing Director at
Indaba Digital

Annee Ngo

Co-Founder of ProtoHack, Manager of Global Events at PressReader

Chris Spicer

Access Services at DataBC, BC Government.

OpenDataDay Hackathon Mentors

Our Hackathon Mentors provide teams with advice throughout the day on everything from open data, programing and design to product development.

Open Data Society of BC Board Members

Gillian Vrooman

President, Open Data Society of BC and Director of Communications and Engagement, College of Pharmacists of BC.

Drew Ogryzek

Co-Founder/Co-Host at Vancouver Tech Podcast, Lead Organizer of HackerNest (Vancouver), Software Engineer & Community Developer, and Open Data Society of BC Board Member..

Mike Sinclair (Remote from Victoria)

CEO & Co-Founder of OpenGovGear and Open Data Society of BC Board Member.

Sue Bigelow

Conservator at City of Vancouver Archives and Open Data Society of BC Board Member

Dmitry Shkolnik

Digital Research Analyst, Destination Canada and Open Data Society of BC Board Member.

Challenge Champions and Subject Matter Experts

Greg Lawrance

Team Lead, Metadata and Catalogue Services, DataBC.

Ask about: Everything DataBC, and GeoBC

Connect on site and through our OpenDataBC Slack Team!

Mark Laudon

Spatial Entrepreneur, GIS Analyst, City of Surrey.

Ask about: Everything Surrey Open Data, and Community Energy & Emissions Inventory.

Connect on site and through our OpenDataBC Slack Team!

David Sadler

Community Services Coordinator at City of Surrey.

Ask about: Everything Surrey Open Data, and Community Connectedness and Sense of Belonging.

Connect on site and through our OpenDataBC Slack Team!

Rory Tooke

Community Energy Planner at City of Surrey.

Ask about: Everything Surrey Open Data, and Trends in Community Energy and Emissions

Connect on site and through our OpenDataBC Slack Team!

Linda Low

Open Data Coordinator, City of Vancouver.

Ask about: Everything Vancouver Open Data.

Connect on site (morning only), through @VanOpenData and through our OpenDataBC Slack Team!


City of Surrey

City of Vancouver

Province of BC

Dynamic Solutions



Tribe Space