Summer 2014 Challenge

This challenge is open to the students enrolled in Computer Science & IT programs (during Summer 2014) at Mohawk College.

This challenge is in no way part of the Computer Science & IT program, it is provided as a completely optional side project that is (hopefully) fun and challenging.

The challenge isn’t intended to be “Kobayashi Maru” hard. ;-) But it is intended to give you a chance to explore something completely new and different.

Due date

The challenge has to be completed and e-mailed to me at by Sunday August 31st 2014 Tuesday September 30th.

Entries can be sent as many times as is required to get it right, but I can only look over entries and respond so quickly.



As a souvenir and reward in exchange for completing the challenge, you’ll receive a 3.5″ floppy disk, with a cover signed by me along with the year the challenge was completed, the name of the challenge you completed, and your name. I doubt these things will become like Knuth cheques, but it’s something!


Create an Open Data Web Application

Open data applications are web and mobile apps that utilize open data provided by governments (e.g. bus times). For example, SkateHamilton is an open data application that helps Hamiltonians find a skating rink. The City of Hamilton has released some open and accessible data on the city website:

Open data apps tend to be done on a volunteer basis and provided free for the benefit of the general public, but some apps utilize open data will charge and/or earn a profit (for example Bike Like a Local).


Build an open data web application using one of the data sets made available on the City of Hamilton website. The open data web application must meet the following minimum requirements:


  • Identify target users – who are your target users for the application? Cyclists? Local seeking recreational activities? Public transportation users? You must target a specific group of users.
  • User acquisition plan – how will your target users find out about your application? Can you find a local non-profit, charitable, volunteer or activist organization to link to your application on their website and/or notify their community of its existence? You must present your plan for how you will let your target users know that your app exists. The plan doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but there does have to be some plan. If you get stuck on this, send me an e-mail.
  • Google Maps API – use the Google Maps API to present the Open Data in a useful way to your target users. You can use SkateHamilton as inspiration – i.e. give more details when the user clicks on an item in the map, make the map searchable, etc.
  • Accessible – the application most be hosted somewhere online and be accessible to the general public.

To submit a solution send a link to the application to me via e-mail, along with some text identifying your target users and your user acquisition plan.



  • How and where you host the app is up to you – Heroku may be a good fit.