Presenting the Open Data Geoportal of Tirana

Municipality of Tirana, the biggest municipality in Albania, has agreed to donate geospatial data to OpenStreetMap using an open license. After several communications with local and international OpenStreetMap contributors and following the memorandum of understanding signed in 2017 between the Municipality of Tirana and Open Labs hackerspace, the donated data have already started being added at OSM through geoportal.openlabs.cc. The available data include, but are not limited to, buildings, height of buildings, roads and their names and will help the Albanian open source community contribute even more to the OpenStreetMap platform.

About OpenStreetMap
OSM is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. The creation and growth of OSM has been motivated by restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world, and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices. OSM is considered a prominent example of volunteered geographic information and publishes all its data in an open source license.

Technology used for the Geoportal
During the last months the Open Labs community has reviewed the donated data carefully and started adding information on OpenStreetMap using the newly launched geoportal.openlabs.cc, a tool developed by Jonathan Beliën, a board member of OpenStreetMap Belgium and an active remote member of Open Labs hackerspace. The geoportal was built using open-source software like MapServer and Apache. At the moment it provides a WMS service and a TMS service displaying the streets and the buildings provided by the municipality. Those services can be used inside iD Editor or JOSM. The project could not be implemented without the contribution of Besfort Guri, an experienced geoinformation professional from the Kosovo free libre open source community.

Joni Baboçi, General Director of Urban Planning and Urban Development at the Municipality of Tirana, emphasized the fact that “the research, analysis and data gathering effort completed by the Municipality in the framework of the new General Local Plan TR030 are important public assets. It is reasonable for them to be distributed to OSM or any other open source entity so that the data – the work for the gathering of which has been paid for by the taxpayers and citizens of Tirana – are put to the best use in the service of citizens in every shape or form that they see fit. We appreciate the collaboration and continuous support of Open Labs in making this idea a reality”.

This was a big step forward as geographical data is being used on many services nowadays, from government, startups, everyday citizens etc. Having better geographical data makes Tirana more accessible, easier to explore and also offers a great tool for developers and companies to build upon. Many other cities around the world have donated data to OpenStreetMap and now Tirana is now part of the cities contributing to the public domain through open data donation.

For more information about the project visit geoportal.openlabs.cc.

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