Esri Canada Centre of Excellence (ECCE) in GIS


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. Go to the App Challenge website for the Challenge Guidelines. For 2019, we recommend forming a team of 3-4 students, then register for two competitions and compete for two cash prizes. All Dalhousie graduate and undergraduate students are eligible. To register for the App Challenge, go to the GIS Centre or send an email to James Boxall <>. This competition runs for one week, from Friday, March 1, 2019, at 5pm to Friday, March 8, 2019, at 5pm. The App you develop must use open data, which means you can participate in the Nova Scotia Open Data Contest at the same time. This weekend event takes place in the Rowe Management Building from Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 8:30am to Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 4:30pm. Both events require you to register in advance. The App Challenge Prize is $1500 and the Open Data Contest Prize is $4000. An outstanding team could win both prizes!

Scholarship & Award

The Esri Canada GIS scholarship program enables each university to select award recipients during the Winter Term, on an annual basis. The prize package includes software, training, books and $500. Dal application packages are due on March 24. Students are also eligible to compete for the International Esri Young Scholars Award. If you follow the international Guidelines for Posters and Guidelines for Summary Reports - the same poster and summary report can be submitted to both competitions. The Esri Young Scholars Award application package is due by 5pm on March 24, 2019.

Our ECCE Director is Dr. Daniel Rainham, from the Enivronmental Science Program.

Through a partnership with Esri Canada, Dalhousie University hosts an Esri Canada Centre of Excellence in GIS. Dalhousie has earned this designation because we promote teaching excellence in GIS, encourage GIS innovation and facilitate increased collaboration between faculty and students.

From a software perspective, GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. Esri Canada is a Canadian-owned company that uses ArcGIS software products to provide enterprise GIS solutions.

Up to six of our students can become ECCE associates, which entitles them to attend conferences and development workshops. They form a network with other GIS-minded students across Canada.

The ECCE designation is held by ten other institutions: UNB, NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences, Carleton, Waterloo, McMaster, York, Western, Calgary, Simon Fraser, and Victoria.


Read the ECCE blog to see what new and exciting things are happening in the geospatial and academic communities across Canada.

GIS Centre

Need help or assistance? Visit the GIS Centre located on the 5th floor of the Killam Library. To find it, go through Special Collections and proceed toward the northwest corner of the Killam Library.