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LESSON 2019: Legal Ethical factorS crowdSourced geOgraphic iNformation

1st International Workshop on Legal and Ethical Issues in Crowdsourced Geographic Information

8th - 9th October 2019 (1.5 days)

University of Zurich, Switzerland

LESSON 2019: Workshop Organisation

Workshop Co-Chairs: Dr. Peter Mooney (Dept of Computer Science, Maynooth University, Ireland) and Ms. Kiran Zahra (Dept of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland)

LESSON 2019: Workshop Themes and Focus

The legal and ethical dimensions of crowdsourcing in general are debated among scholars and researchers. At present only limited work exists in the specific context of CGI (Crowdsourced Geographic Information). Some GI scientists and legal scholars have specifically discussed the legal issues in using crowdsourcing for geospatial information ( 1, 2, 3, 4). One of the major attractions of CGI is that from the desks and the laboratories of researchers there are now large, complex and rich datasets available for analysis from a variety of platforms. Personal information, collected as CGI, now creates data linkages between individuals, devices, and organizations. When the spatial and geographical aspects of these datasets and information streams are explored new knowledge can be extracted. With the ubiquitous adoption of smartphones and social media, the awareness of the value of personal "big data" has increased, as well as large-scale web data collection by many companies. The regulatory landscape have also evolved, notably with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented from May 2018. However, researchers and scientists involved in CGI often operate in gray areas without clear guidelines. This applies particularly to secondary data usage (such as data produced for another purpose). Other disciplines have a clear ethical/legal framework (health/biomedical research) ( 5,6,7). GIScience/data science has not produced recognised guidelines. This workshop will bring together researchers, academics, industry specialists, legal and ethics scholars to discuss and understand the most prevalent legal and ethical issues in Crowdsourced Geographic Information.

Contributions, and topics for discussion, (but not strictly limited to these) for the workshop are outlined below.

LESSON 2019: Draft Timetable

The DRAFT timetable has been designed and it is presented below. More details such as: author affiliations, links to papers, session chairs etc. will be available in the coming weeks. The LESSON 2019 workshop will be held in Seminar Room Y21-D-68a (see map) in the University of Zurich.

Time Activity Description
Tuesday, 8th October 2019 LESSON 2019 (Day 1)
09:00 - 09:45 Introduction and Welcome to LESSON 2019
"The current legal, ethical and privacy landscape for Crowdsourced Geographic Information research": Peter Mooney
Sticky Notes Activity from all delegates: All delegates are given yellow sticky notes and they can write phrases or words on these notes to express their interest or expectations of the workshop. We shall used these notes to help form and guide the group discussions later
09:45 – 10:45 Keynote Keynote: Timo Grossenbacher "Hacking (in) data journalism: Exploring legal and ethical boundaries"
10:45 - 11:15 Coffee Break and Networking
11:15 – 12:45 Session 1: Legal and Ethical case-study examples
"Crowdsourced Toponym Handling in the Indonesian Legal and Regulatory Framework" Authors: Aji Putra Perdana, Frank O. Ostermann  Download Paper (PDF)

"Human rights concept and guidelines for GIScience" Author: Yulia Razmetaeva  Download Paper (PDF)

"From text to information: legal and ethical issues in the geographic analysis of unstructured text" Ross Purves, Olga Koblet  Download Paper (PDF)
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch Break and Networking. Lunch will be served in the same building as the LESSON 2019 meeting room
14:00 - 15:30 Session 2: Citizen-centric issues
"GeoSocial: ‘Social Sensing’ within the applied natural geohazard sciences" Author: Bee, E.J  Download Paper (PDF)

"Ethical and legal issues involved in conducting studies on mental health using social media data. Examples from the M-HEALTH project" Authors: Marta Fadda, Ivor Mardesic, Martin Sykora, Suzanne Elayan, Milo Puhan, Emiliano Albanese, Oliver Gruebner  Download Paper (PDF)

"Is it secret? Is it safe?: Ethical Dimensions of Citizen Science Hazard Data" Author: Carolynne Hultquist  Download Paper (PDF)
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break and Networking
16:00 - 17:00 Group Session #1 Group discussions – based on the ideas, comments, etc. generated from the sticky notes activity in the morning session
17:00 - 17:30 Wrap up day 1, Quick group report back. Close
Wednesday, 9th October 2019 LESSON 2019 (Day 2)
09:00 - 09:30 Keynote: Frank Ostermann "Reconciling ethics and reproducibility for research using crowdsourced geoinformation"
09:30 - 10:30 Session 3: Practical Implementation with Privacy, Ethics and Legal Considerations
"Protecting privacy using HyperLogLog to process data from Location Based Social Networks" Authors: Marc Loechner, Alexander Dunkel, Dirk Burghardt  Download Paper (PDF)

"Citizen Science for Lake Ecosystem preservation: the case of SIMILE project" Authors: Carlo A. Biraghi, Daniela Carrion, Maria A. Brovelli  Download Paper (PDF)
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break and Networking
11:00 - 12:00 Session 4: Governance and Compliance
"Ethical governance for repurposing geospatial data." Author: Thomas King  Download Paper (PDF)

"Ethical and legal concerns regarding user-generated data: experiences from a GDPR-compliant research projec" Authors: Christoph Fink, Enrico Di Minin, Anna Hausmann  Download Paper (PDF)
12:00 - 13:00 Group Session #2 Final group activity (based on Day 1)

LESSON 2019 Closing: Future directions and wrap up
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break and departures. As in Day 1 lunch will be served in the same building as the LESSON 2019 meeting room

LESSON 2019: Papers, Submissions and Proceedings

We invite short papers or regular papers (4-6 pages long max) which outline current work in this domain. We also welcome short abstracts (250 - 500 words max) which outline work in progress, preliminary results, or broader topics for discussion. Information on the submission procedures and paper/abstract template documents are provided below.

We are looking forward to encouraging participation from a wide range of interested parties and stakeholders. These include, but are not limited to:

All accepted short papers and abstracts will be compiled and be published with CEUR-WS , a community-driven publication outlet for workshop and conference proceedings from computer science and information systems. The full volume of proceedings will also be made available at Zenodo. Zenodo helps researchers receive credit by making the research results citable and through OpenAIRE integrates them into existing reporting lines to funding agencies like the European Commission. Citation information is also passed to DataCite and onto other scholarly aggregators.

In order to minimise the overall cost of the workshop there will be no printed proceedings produced.

LESSON 2019: Important Dates ( EXTENDED!!)

Online Paper Submission System opens. Official Call For Papers
17th May 2019
Submission deadline for short papers and abstracts ( EXTENDED)
16th August 2019 Extended until 1st September 2019 [CLOSED]
Review Process Deadline
Submissions returned to the authors with reviewer comments by 15th September 2019
Camera-ready submission deadline
Camera-ready submission deadline for short papers and also for minor changes to abstract text on 29th September 2019 [EXTENDED]. All submissions must be provided in PDF.
Workshop Event
Workshop: 8th October 2019 (all day) and 9th October 2019 (morning until lunchtime)

LESSON 2019: Submission procedure

Authors of both short papers and abstracts are asked to submit their work before the submission deadline of 16th August 2019 1st September 2019 (CLOSED). EasyChair will be used to collect the submissions. Emailed submissions will not be accepted.

Short paper submissions are asked to follow the short/regular paper template provided and all submissions must be provided in PDF format only. Authors are asked to please use this format and structure for their short/regular paper(s).

A submission template is also provided for abstracts. Authors are asked to please use this format and structure for their abstract(s).

At least one author of each accepted short/regular paper or abstract MUST be registered to attend the workshop.

LESSON 2019: Peer Review Process

All submissions will be initially screened for suitability for the workshop. Upon passing this screening process all submissions will be subject to review by up to two members of our programme committee. Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process before 15th September 2019.

Successful authors will be asked to take and integrate the feedback from the reviewers into their revised manuscripts or abstracts.

A condition of final acceptance to the workshop is the provision of an outline of where, as necessary and appropriate, review comments and feedback have been taken into account in the preparation of the final manuscript.

LESSON 2019: Workshop registration

Registration for the workshop is free to all participants. However, in order to effectively plan for the workshop advanced registration is required. Please complete the LESSON 2019 Google Form for registration.

All registered delegates will be provided with tea/coffee breaks and lunches. Access to all sessions of the workshop is also included. However, the cost of travel to Zurich and accommodation costs shall be borne by the participants.

Registration deadline 4th October 2019

Registration will open from May 2019 and will close on 4th October 2019. No email or telephone registrations will be accepted. Please use the LESSON 2019 Google Form for your registration.

LESSON 2019: Workshop Location and Venue

All LESSON 2019 activities will be held at the Department of Geography at University of Zurich - Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland. The following link shows the location on OpenStreetMap. Directions on how to reach the Department of Geography are provided here. Zurich airport has excellent connections to most major European airports. In addition to air connectivity, Zurich Hauptbahnhof (railway station) has excellent rail connections to other Swiss cities, Germany, Austria, Italy and France. You can consult the Official Zurich Tourism website for more information.

LESSON 2019: General Workshop Committee

The workshop co-chairs will be assisted in the general organisation of the workshop with the assistance of the general workshop committee members below:

LESSON 2019: Programme Committee

If you are interested in volunteering to serve on the programme committee please email us (details below)

LESSON 2019: General Queries

If there are questions or queries which are not answered on this website then other general queries, questions or comments about the workshop should be directed to Peter Mooney ( and Kiran Zahra (

LESSON 2019: Support

Support for the organisation of LESSON 2019 is very kindly acknowledged from the following: