Open Source for America recognizes 2011 Open Source Awards Winners

Open Source for America (OSFA) is excited to announce the winners of our second annual Open Source Awards program, recognizing individuals, projects and deployments for their role in advancing the adoption of free and open source software in federal government agencies. Winners were honored during FedTalks 2011, held in October in Washington, D.C.

Open Source for America’s 2011 Open Source Awards were sponsored by LinuxBox, HP, Red Hat, Brainfood, and EnterpriseDB. For more information on the awards, visit

2011 Open Source Award Winners

Open Source Deployment in Government

This award honors a U.S. government agency or body that has shown commitment to the use of open source, through policy and/or adoption. The 2011 winner is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate‘s Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) program. DHS S&T is the sponsor and driving force behind the HOST program. The mission of the HOST program is to investigate open security methods, models and technologies and identify viable and sustainable approaches that support national cyber security objectives. To achieve this mission, HOST will lead efforts of discovery, collaboration and seeding development in open source software and practices that produce a measurable impact. DHS S&T has committed $10 million to fund the HOST program for up to five years and is openly promoting the adoption of open source solutions in Federal, state and local government agencies.

Open Source Project

This award recognizes an open source project that has shown promise and benefit for U.S. government use. The 2011 winner is the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) for its OpenLayers web mapping project. OpenLayers makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page. It can display map tiles and markers loaded from any source. OpenLayers has been developed to further the use of geographic information of all kinds. OpenLayers is completely free, Open Source JavaScript, released under the 2-clause BSD License (also known as the FreeBSD). As a framework, OpenLayers is intended to separate map tools from map data so that all the tools can operate on all the data sources. This separation breaks the proprietary silos that earlier GIS revolutions have taught civilization to avoid. OSGeo believes the mapping revolution on the public web should benefit from the experience of history.

Individual Awards

These awards recognize one internal OSFA member and one external contributor who have made significant contributions in the promotion and use of open source solutions in the U.S. government during the past year. The 2011 winners are David A. Wheeler of the Institute for Defense Analyses and Melanie Chernoff, Public Policy Manager at Red Hat.

Wheeler is the 2011 external contributor award winner for over a decade of advocacy for open source in the Defense Department. Through whitepapers and monographs like “Why Open Source Software / Free Software? Look at the Numbers!” and “Nearly all FLOSS is Commercial,” not to mention his preternatural knowledge of DOD procurement rules, Wheeler has provided the open source community with the advocacy tools we use every day.

Chernoff, one of the founding members of OSFA, is the 2011 internal OSFA member award winner for her tireless work behind the scenes of OSFA. She has been involved in nearly every aspect of the organization from the very beginning: the infrastructure team, the policy team, and the marketing team have all benefited from her work. She even drafted the organization’s founding documents.

To join Open Source for America and help build support for the use of open source technologies, visit the OSFA website at