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OpenPlans Logo.png
FounderMark Gorton
FocusSustainable transport
Area served

OpenPlans is a non-profit technology based advocacy organization which aims to help to open up government and improve transportation systems. OpenPlans currently has a staff of 20 people. The organization was founded in 1999 by Mark Gorton,[2] the creator of LimeWire.[3]


The organisation has received funding from Google, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Knight Foundation, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), SURDNA Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank and others.[4]


OpenPlans organises its activities into a number of divisions or projects.


OpenGeo was the geospatial division of OpenPlans supporting the development of a number of open-source software packages for the geospatial analysis, management and publication of geospatial information; these include PostGIS, GeoServer, GeoWebCache, GeoExt, and OpenLayers.

In April 2013, OpenGeo took on investment from a consortium that included the federal intelligence consortium In-Q-Tel and spun out from OpenPlans to establish itself as an independent company.[5]

In September 2013, the company changed its name to Boundless, creating a new corporate brand to better reflect the growing range of platforms, applications (now including QGIS), and services the company develops and sells.[6]

In early 2019, Boundless was acquired by Planet Labs in a much disputed sale.[7] It is now known as the division Planet Federal.[8]


The Streetfilms project produces and publishes short films advocating transportation design and public policy. About 400 videos have been produced which have been watched over 4 million times.[9] These films are normally published using a creative commons license. Their most popular videos including a piece about the Ciclovia in Bogota where streets are made into carfree facilities every Sunday. Such events now take place in many places around the world (180,000 views)[10] and on Physically Separated Bike Lanes (111,000 views).[11] In 2010 at a time when New York city was planning to implement 20 mph speed limits Streetfilms produced a short video of the experience of 20 mph speed limits in the UK where 3 million people already live in 20 mph speed limit areas.[12][13]

Streetfilms was started by Clarence Eckerson[14] in 2004[15] with support from Mark Gorton.[16]


Streetsblog is a project run by OpenPlans providing a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities. StreetsBlog started in 2006 and has 'hundreds of thousands' of regular readers.[17][non-primary source needed]

Since March 2013 the Streetsblog runs a "Parking Madness" tournament. 16 downtowns are nominated and a head to head contests are run through the month with readers deciding which city has built the most parking in their downtown. The winners are awarded the "Golden Crater."

Year Golden Crater Winner
2015 Camden, New Jersey [18]
2014 Rochester, New York
2013 Tulsa, Oklahoma

Code for America Commons[edit]

Code for America Commons (formerly Civic Commons) is a project by Code for America and OpenPlans focused on reducing government IT costs by helping government entities share code and best practices. It was initially launched as Civic Commons as an independent nonprofit organization, but later became a program of Code for America. The project is a coordinated effort between Code for America, OpenPlans, and the District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO).


  1. ^ a b "Overview". OpenPlans. We’re a team of 50 transit nerds, journalists, and engineers. We’re based in New York City, but we have staff and projects located in far off places (like Portland and Australia).
  2. ^ "From Our Founder". OpenPlans.
  3. ^ Joseph Plambeck (May 23, 2010). "Idea Man of LimeWire at a Crossroads". New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  4. ^ "About". OpenPlans.
  5. ^ "OpenGeo spins-off from OpenPlans". OpenPlans.
  6. ^ "OpenGeo is Now Boundless". Reuters.
  7. ^ "Investors lose $24 million in satellite intelligence tie-up gone wrong". Quartz.
  8. ^ "Planet To Acquire Boundless To Further Support U.S. Government Business". Planet.
  9. ^ "About streetfilms". Streetfilms.
  10. ^ "Ciclovia: Bogotá, Colombia". Streetfilms.
  11. ^ "Physically Separated Bike Lanes". Streetfilms.
  12. ^ "No Need for Speed: 20′s Plenty for Us". 1920s Plenty for us.
  13. ^ "Traffic group on US video". Warrington Guardian.
  14. ^ "A Night of StreetFilms w/ NYC's Clarence Eckerson". LivableStreets.
  15. ^ "Streetfilms". Greenpeace UK.
  16. ^ "Streetfilms shine spotlight on alternative transport". BikeRadar.
  17. ^ "About Us". StreetsBlog.
  18. ^ Schmitt, Angie (April 7, 2015). "Camden's Waterfront Abyss Wins the 2015 Golden Crater". Streetsblog. Retrieved July 6, 2015.