It is the youngest capital in Europe, a city where years of peace have brought constant street name changes and endless new streets being built. Locals often use landmarks – sometimes long gone – or old or colloquial names when giving directions, which I had to ask for repeatedly on my first trip to Kosovo in May to visit Anne. It’s a cliché to talk of Kosovo’s potential, but it felt especially true when I looked at the map of Pristina, trying to find my way from Bill Klinton Boulevard, which has a huge statue of him, to Rruga B, which has changed to a name no one remembers or uses.
Big proprietary map makers can’t and don’t care to keep up. Even more than elsewhere, the best map of Kosovo can only come from local mappers.
On my next visit, together with the wonderful OpenStreetMap community, I organised a meetup. This led to very productive meetings with Kosovo’s national cadastre agency. I’ll hopefully have more to write about open geographical data in Kosovo soon.
Other meetings happened with the city of Pristina, and Yll Rugova, who is among others the director for tourism for Pristina, showed up at our second meetup a week ago. We talked about the challenges that come with putting Kosovo on the map, and his ongoing project to create a tourist map of the city. He looked delighted when I showed him Maposmatic, and how easy it was to generate what he needed in different sizes and styles and modify the PDF output.
Only a few days later, this is the result (or in Albanian) – the official tourist map of Pristina is based on OpenStreetMap. The translations and printed versions are coming soon, and I’m sure other, even better maps will follow. Congratulations to Yll, to the Kosovo mapping community and to the city of Pristina.
(Edited to add link to English map)