[Imports] Kosovo administrative boundaries and addresses

Guillaume Rischard openstreetmap at stereo.lu
Mon Nov 4 11:43:26 UTC 2019

Hello OSM community,

The Kosovo community has recently signed an agreement with the Kosovo Cadastre Agency (KCA) to use official data in OpenStreetMap. We have received street names and geometries, addresses and administrative boundaries.

Our organised mapping activity to map the streets ( https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Organised_Editing/Activities/Kosovo_streets_mapathon2 ) was quite a success: 41 mappers completed tasks, and we’ve mapped 99% of the area. We’re still missing about 1200 streets, mostly in cities (Prizren, Pejë, Mitrovica, countryside around Klinë…)

We would now like to import the administrative boundaries and addresses, hopefully before the end of the year.


Kosovo recently gave itself a comprehensive, nationwide system of addresses and new street names. Because OpenStreetMap is the only map that shows the streets, apps like maps.me are on almost every smartphone in the country. We now want OpenStreetMap to be the first and best way of showing the country’s house numbers on a map that a smartphone can use.

We have received about 370k official addresses. Only 3000 are already present on OpenStreetMap.

The names in the official data were all in uppercase. The community wrote rules to convert the names and expand abbreviations.

We will be using different methods for different regions, and work municipality by municipality. In municipalities where there are no addresses in osm, we will simply import everything.

In others, we will use Dietmar Seifert’s regio-osm tool to find disagreements between the bases, and manually investigate what we can’t conflate from our armchairs. The data from KCA has been checked by surveyors a few times, and the quality of the data is, in our experience, excellent.

In any case, we will simply be using the OSM output that regio-osm produces.


The cadastral zone boundaries will be converted and imported on admin_layer=8, one municipality at a time. For the few zones that are already mapped, we will of course preserve any extra information in OSM that the official data doesn’t have, like the admin_center member.

The municipalities will then be re-built using the imported boundaries. Existing relations will be reused, and of course any extra information they contain will be preserved.

Finally, we will re-build the country boundary. Because that boundary line contains mountain peaks and touches administrative and nature protection zones on both sides of the border, this will be labour-intensive manual work.

We therefore plan on working on municipalities one by one, working outwards from the centre of the country. We will be using JOSM with its ContourMerge plugin.

The cadastral zone data we’ve received has been reprojected, converted to topologies, manually fixed for gaps and overlaps and minor problems, converted with ogr2osm and code very slightly adapted from the Michigan Townships import at https://github.com/maxerickson/michigantownships. The output has been uploaded to http://osm.flossk.org/converted-akk-data/cadastralzones-converted.osm


Come chat with us on https://t.me/osmkosovo

We would like to thank Milaim Sylka for his help with boundary topologies, Dietmar Seifert for his precious regio-osm tool and Berat Preniqi from the Kosovo Cadastre Agency for patiently answering all our questions

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