Portland Plans to Become Open Source Mecca

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In its ongoing effort to become the coolest city in the U.S., the mayor of Portland, Oregon, is going to attempt tomorrow night to make it an "open source city," making its data as open as possible while respecting privacy, and buying open source applications when possible.

If passed by the City Council, Mayor Sam Adams' proposal will have the following steps:

"a. Enter into agreements with our regional partners to publish and maintain public datasets that are open and freely available while respecting privacy and security concerns as identified by the City Attorney;
b. Develop a strategy to adopt prevailing open standards for data, documents, maps, and other formats of media;
c. Organize a regional contest to encourage the development of software applications to collect, organize, and share public data;
d. Establish best practices for analysis of business requirements in software review and selection processes, identify existing commercial software systems with licenses that are scheduled to expire in the near future, and encourage the consideration of Open Source Software in the review, replacement and continual improvement of business solutions."

As for carrots, the city is also hoping to encourage the lucrative conference industry to come to Portland; the proposal also suggests promoting "Portland as a host city for leading Open Source Software conferences and related technology events, such as LinuxCon, Innotech, etc."

In addition, all formal technology related purchasing and contract opportunities will be offered to the open source community, according to the proposed resolution.

Adams first declared his intention of making Portland more open in June, during the Open Source Bridge conference. According to the Silicon Florist blog, this was a way of competing with Vancouver, B.C., Canada, which had announced in May its intention of doing the same thing.