Max Ogden, a 21-year-old web developer from Portland, Ore., typically spends 9 to 5 developing software for a market research firm. It pays the rent but doesn’t ignite his passion. Then he takes his laptop to a local coffeehouse and gets busy on what he calls “my 5-to-9 projects.” By designing free, opensource applications in his spare time, using public data that the city of Portland makes available to developers to inspire innovation, he hopes to make his hometown function a little...

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