Albania’s vibrant open source community is encouraging the administration of Tirana, the capital, to open up. Earlier this month, the city and members of Open Labs Hackerspace together announced the public availability of Tirana’s geospatial data. The data, donated by the city last year, has been curated by the Hackerspace community and is now available on the Open Labs Geoportal.
Tirana’s geodata includes information on the locations and heights of buildings, roads, bus routes, and street names.
The Open Labs Geoportal was officially launched on 21 February. Now that the city has made its data available, the Albanian open source community will contribute even more to the OpenStreetMap platform, Open Labs said in its announcement.
“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,” Open Labs quotes Joni Baboçi, General Director of Urban Planning and Urban Development at the Municipality of Tirana, as saying. “It is reasonable for the data to be distributed to OpenStreetMap 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,” Mr Baboçi is quoted as saying.
To build the geoportal, the city of Tirana worked with OpenStreetMap volunteers in Albania, Kosovo and Belgium. “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.”
Sharing geoinformation is just one of the steps towards openness taken by the city administration. Tirana is already using Nextcloud, an open source solution for cloud storage, file sharing and file synchronisation. The city has launched an open data portal, and is considering the use of LibreOffice as its office productivity suite.