Center for Applied Systems & Software ยป

OSU Open Source Lab

10 Projects Making a Difference

by Melissa on Mon, Nov 25 2013

Submitted by Melissa Morse on November 25, 2013

In addition to supporting projects that are making significant impacts on technology, the Open Source Lab hosts projects that are striving to make the world a better place. The following 10 open source projects (in no particular order) promote open source technology in education, health care and government in ways that build a better future.

  1. CiviCRM

    CiviCRM is open source Constituent Relationship Management software geared toward meeting the needs of nonprofit and other public sector organizations. For example, the New York State Senate uses CiviCRM to manage millions of constituents for 62 state senate offices; Hands On, a nonprofit theater organization for the deaf, uses CiviCRM to manage ticketing. The OSL hosts most of the infrastructure for CiviCRM including the main website, the demo server, the documentation server and discussion forums.


    CONNECT is an open source software community that strives to improve health care through the secure exchange of electronic health data. CONNECT software is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Medicaid and Medicare services. The OSL serves as a main mirror for CONNECT downloads and hosts the CONNECT community website.

  3. Elgg-social media platform

    Elgg is an award-winning open source social networking engine that provides a robust framework on which to build all kinds of social environments. Elgg is designed to be fully customizable through its modular plugins and robust views system. Organizations with networks powered by Elgg include Oxfam, the University of Florida, and the State of Ohio. The OSL provides hosting for Elgg.org's website, The Elgg Foundation's website, the el.gg URL shortener and various other sites.

  4. One Laptop Per Child

    The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative aims to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. As of 2011, over 2 million laptops have been distributed. The OSL developed the multimedia functionality of the XO laptop, including video and audio playback. Currently, the lab hosts the OLPC support forums.

  5. Open Source Digital Voting Foundation

    The OSDV Foundation is building an open source election technology framework for adoption and deployment by U.S. jurisdictions. Seeking to define the future of elections technology and develop voting standards, the OSDV Foundation promotes the integrity of our election processes.The OSL hosts websites for the foundation and the development servers for the TrustTheVote project.

  6. OpenMRS

    The Open Medical Record System develops enterprise-class open source software to manage electronic medical records. First used in a western medical clinic in Kenya in 2005, OpenMRS is now being used in over 140 countries, helping governments and organizations track diseases and improve patient care. The OSL hosts the OpenMRS website and manages development infrastructure for the OpenMRS medical record system application.

  7. ORVSD

    The Oregon Virtual School District provides website hosting and learning management systems for Oregon public schools. Created in 2006, this project has provided tremendous benefits to schools throughout Oregon, helping teachers integrate technology into the classroom with access to learning and content management systems. In addition, the project gives OSL student employees real-world experience, preparing them for their future roles as open source leaders. The OSL provides core infrastructure for ORVSD.

  8. Rock the Vote

    Founded in 1990, Rock the Vote has registered more than five million young people to vote and has become a trusted source of information for young people about registering to vote and casting a ballot. Rock the Vote was the first organization to introduce telephone voter registration, as well as online voter registration. The OSL provides managed hosting and deployment services for Rock the Vote registration.

  9. Sahana Software Foundation

    The Sahana Software Foundation manages community development of free and open source software projects that address common coordination challenges in disaster management. Last year, the City of New York used Sahana software to aid in its response to Hurricane Sandy. The OSL hosts Sahana Software's website and wiki.

  10. TeachEngineering

    TeachEngineering is a digital library of K-12 math and science curriculum that is free for teachers to use and adapt in their classrooms. The library infrastructure is implemented entirely on Linux, is built with open source system development tools and is itself available under the General Public License. The TeachEngineering library is hosted by the OSL and is indexed by the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library.