About Window Expeditions

In these unprecedented times, where many of us are forced to spend more time at home, we sometimes forget how relaxing and interesting our world can be. We want to remind people of all the wonders of the world by making people marvel at their surroundings through a window or from their balcony. What can you see, what do you hear, what can you smell, how do you experience the world from your window or balcony? We have implemented a simple web app where you can describe your surroundings. Our goal is to respark people’s enthusiasm about our world and hopefully help counter act feelings of imprisonment and isolation during quarantine. Users can upload at most one description per hour and receive points 1. In addition, the app features a public map where interested users can explore and admire other users’ contributions 2. Lastly, the data will be analysed in a research context to shed light on how people perceive and describe their surroundings.

1 To comply with privacy regulations exact coordinates are not saved or transmitted. Personal data is encrypted and stored on a server in Zürich-CH
2 The map only displays descriptions where users explicitly agreed to publication

How does this application work?

You can contribute up to one landscape description per hour, for which you will receive points. You can explicitly agree to your descriptions being displayed on the public map. Your contribution will be checked by moderators before publication. As a registered user, you can read all your own contributions so this application can also serve as a landscape diary of your surroundings which you can share with others. As a registered user, you can delete your own contributions at any time. Anonymous users can also contribute descriptions.”

Data Privacy statement

Window Expeditions is a research project by the Geocomputation Unit, Department of Geography, University of Zurich. All data are submitted in accordance with the Swiss Data Protection Act (DSG) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Project name: Window Expeditions

Project partner: University of Zurich, Department of Geography, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich

Data protection officer of the project: Prof. Ross Purves (ross.purves@geo.uzh.ch)

Contact: manuel.baer@uzh.ch

Purpose of data processing:

  • Saving and display of landscape descriptions by users in the web application
  • Scientific analyses
  • Anonymised data may be published in social media, blogs, news articles, research papers and newsletters

Categories of Personal Data

On registration we ask you to choose a username, provide an email address and information as to age, gender and language(s) you speak. When you contribute a description we store your location on a 1km hexagonal grid. We also store further meta-data as listed here

Anonymous users are asked to contribute simple demographic data to enable analysis of their descriptions.

Locations of Data Savings:

  • Google Cloud Services. Server location: Zurich Switzerland
  • Computers of the Universität Zurich (exported data)

Your Data and Your Right to be Forgotten

As a registered user you have the rights to access or erase your Personally Identifiable Information and all associated contributed data by using the “Account” function of the site. If you have a data protection query or request which cannot be achieved by this method, you can contact the data protection officer. For reasons of public interest and furthering research, your data will be archived for the duration of the research project.

Third Parties

If you choose to register you must provide an e-mail address and choose a username. Your e-mail address is not visible, and we will never share email addresses without your permission. Your username is visible on the Window Expeditions site, but will not be shared with third parties.

It is also possible to contribute anonymously, in which case we store neither e-mail addresses nor usernames.

Anonymised contributions and associated demographic information may be published and shared for research purposes.

Your Contributions

Window Expeditions moderates contributions from registered and anonymous users, however you are responsible for all content that you upload or post. You agree not to:

  • Upload or post any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, slanderous, vulgar, obscene, libellous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, embarrassing, or racially, ethnically or otherwise offensive to any other person or entity.
  • Impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity.
  • Upload or post content which infringes copyright or intellectual property of any person or organisation.