Mapper of the Month: Besfort Guri (Kosovo)

- Pierre Parmentier


His homepage and his contribution page.

Hello Besfort! Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I am Besfort Guri from Prizren, Kosovo, the youngest country in Europe. I am a board member at FLOSSK (Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova) an NGO that promotes FLOSS in Kosovo. I also run a small company called OpS-IN where we develop software based on GIS.

How and when did you get to know OpenStreetMap?

FLOSSK in 2009 organized for the first time a conference called Software Freedom Kosova, during this conference I was introduced to OpenStreetMap. Then I started to contribute to https://wiki.openstreetmap.org translating into Albanian different materials and also mapping.

How do you use OpenStreetMap?

I use OpenStreetMap in my daily work, so from navigation to other uses for data.

What kind of contributor are you and in which area do you map?

Lately I am contributing more in community development than mapping. It’s been years since FLOSSK became OpenStreetMap Foundation Local Chapter (Editor’s note - On 24 September 2020.), which we are now trying to develop by opening data, having more people involved in OpenStreetMap, and working with schools in Kosovo.

What are you mapping? Do you have a specialization?

As I said I am not really active these days in mapping, but I usually map roads and buildings.

What is your greatest achievement as mapper?

As a mapper and as part of FLOSSK my greatest achievements are two things: first one is that FLOSSK organized the State of the Map Southeast Europe conference in my hometown Prizren and the second one is that FLOSSK became an OpenStreetMap Foundation Local Chapter.

Why are you mapping? What motivates you?

Maybe the question should be: why are you contributing to the OpenStreetMap project? I would say that I am happy with the progress that we do here.

Do you have any ideas to expand the OpenStreetMap community, to motivate more people to contribute?

Yes, we are running a project supported by OpenStreetMap Foundation called Mapping Villages and Settlements in Kosovo. Through this project we are organizing 16 mapathons with high schools around Kosovo, mapping different Villages and Settlements, and participants are invited to the OpenStreetMap Kosovo Telegram Group where we are 96 members.

Do you have contact with other mappers?

Yes, I am in contact with mappers from Kosovo, Belgium and from across the globe. In 2019 during FOSDEM, OpenStreetMap Belgium organized a meeting where I participated and I am in contact with many of them still, like Jonathan Beliën and Joost Schouppe.

What is in your view the greatest strength of OpenStreetMap?

Short answer will be Community and Data.

What are the largest challenges for OpenStreetMap?

I would say first thing is the Community, Local Chapters across the globe because of local knowledge and local needs.

How to do stay on top of news about OpenStreetMap?

About Kosovo, I would say the main channel is the Telegram group, while globally I would say that the main channels are the mailing lists.

To conclude, is there anything else you want to share with the readers?

Yes, I have an OpenStreetMap Belgium T-shirt Crazy about Mapping.

Thank you Besfort, for this interview.