User Agreement

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Cyclopath, operated by GroupLens Research at the University of Minnesota, is an experimental platform for studying online community design and theory, interface design, and other topics. This document describes how we keep your private data private, the rules on your use of data contained on this site, and what will happen to your contributions if you choose to contribute.

Privacy policy

Data we collect

Identifying information. If you register with Cyclopath, we ask you to supply a username and your e-mail address. Your e-mail address is not visible to other people, but your username will be seen by others in various contexts. Notably, your username is associated with any edits you make, and others can see a list of these edits.

Logging. To accomplish our research, we need to monitor how people use the system. This includes, among other things, recording:

  • when you log in
  • pages or regions you request
  • edits you make
  • predictions shown to you
  • routes you request

If you register and log in, the logs associate these activities with your username. Otherwise, they are associated with your IP address.

Other private data. As a registered user, you can enter personal information about geographic objects:

  • Ratings. You can rate geographic objects (e.g., the bikeability of roads and trails).
  • Watch regions. You can define geographic regions of interest to you.

These data are not visible to others, with limited exceptions outlined below. We will never share these data in a way where you (or your username) could be identified.

Cookies. When you use Cyclopath, we may set cookies in your browser. These help identify you and store your preferences. They are not shared with other sites and are not used for advertisements.

Special events. We occasionally run contests, conduct surveys, and/or implement additional features for the purpose of our research. Participation in these "extras" is optional. This privacy policy does not apply to these activities; they are conducted under their own policies, which will be clearly disclosed beforehand.

Removing your data. Due to the way in which we archive data, it is generally not possible to completely remove your personal data from our systems. However, if you have specific concerns, please contact us and we will see what we can do.

Personal data. The term personal data refers to your ratings and watch regions and logged data regarding your interactions with the system.

Mobile data

When using Cyclopath Mobile, the following will also apply:

Charges. Cyclopath Mobile requires an internet connection to work correctly in most situations. Depending on your plan and your carrier or provider, you may be charged for use of your mobile phone to access Cyclopath.

Other private data

  • Location Information. Cyclopath Mobile is a location-enabled service. By using this application, our servers may receive information about your actual location using GPS and wireless signals.
  • Tracks. Cyclopath Mobile enables you to record tracks that you have ridden. Unless you explicitly choose to share them, your tracks will remain private.

As with all other private data, we will never share these data in a way where you (or your username) could be identified.

When we will contact you

If you do not register, we will never contact you.

If you do register, we will contact you by e-mail in the following circumstances:

  • If you create watch regions, the system will send you e-mail when other users edit within those watch regions. You can opt out of these e-mails by unticking the appropriate box in the watch region panel.
  • Occasionally, we will send e-mail messages to you announcing new features, explaining changes to the system, or inviting you to participate in research studies or other special events. You can opt out of these e-mails; contact us in this case.

What is shared with third parties

We will never release e-mail addresses to third parties under any circumstances. We will also never share your personal data unless (a) it cannot be associated with you or your username, and (b) it is necessary to accomplish our research goals. Specifically, we may share your anonymized personal data with research study participants, other researchers, or in scholarly work describing our research. For example, we might use one of your watch regions as an illustration in a paper, show some of your ratings to another user to see if they agree or disagree, or publish statistics about which regions of the metro area the user community browses most.

Contributions you make to our text and geographic wikis (i.e., edits made to non-personal data) are widely available to others; see below for details.

Aside from the above, information is held as confidentially as is practical within our secured database.

Security measures

Members of the research teams are made aware of our privacy policy and practices by reviewing this statement upon joining the team. We follow industry best practices to secure user data, and access to the database and logs are limited to members of the research group and system administration staff.

What you may do with Cyclopath data


Cyclopath data, both geographic and non-geographic, except for personal data as noted above, are redistributable and modifiable under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. You may copy, distribute, and display the data. You may also modify it, and redistribute the modified version, but only if you redistribute the modified data under the same or a similar license. You may do these things only (a) if you clearly attribute us as the source, and (b) for noncommercial purposes. Details. (Note that simply using Cyclopath in a commercial setting does not invoke the no-commercial-use restriction unless this use is generating nontrivial profit.)

Data should be attributed to "Cyclopath community and MNDOT", or "Cyclopath community, MNDOT, and USGS" if you include aerial photos.

If you redistribute geographic data obtained from Cyclopath, you may be obligated to include the disclaimers below and bikeways.htm, which is the original metadata for the bikeways data from MNDOT. See the link and the disclaimers for details. Cyclopath cannot advise you on whether this is required for your application.

If you do use Cyclopath data in an interesting way, it would be appreciated if you contact us. We would like to know how it is benefiting people.

If you would like to make use of Cyclopath data and the terms above are not acceptable, please contact us. Other arrangements are possible.

What you agree to if you edit Cyclopath


We have two major goals for the data users contribute. These data will be available to individuals and nonprofits for both use, modification, and redistribution at no cost (or for a nominal fee in case of bulk transfers, to cover our expenses). We will also make the data available for commercial uses, but we may require those who benefit financially from the work of the community to contribute financial support back to the community.

If you edit Cyclopath, you grant the University of Minnesota permission to use your contributions however we like, trusting us to do the right thing under the guidelines above. However, you give us this permission non-exclusively, meaning that you yourself still own your contribution and can still do whatever else with it that you like.

We ask you to grant us these broad permissions, rather than something more narrowly tailored to the goals stated first paragraph, because they allow us to do two things. First, they let us change the legal details by which we keep the data available to the community; this is important because the legal environment can change and we need to be able to respond without obtaining permission from every single contributor. Second, they give us the flexibility necessary to negotiate fee agreements with businesses.

You must not contribute data to Cyclopath which you do not own. For example, do not copy other maps or have a Google Earth window open for reference. If people do this, it can cause major legal headaches for us.

Legal details

In contributing to Cyclopath, you agree, by submitting your contribution, to grant the Regents of the University of Minnesota a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licenseable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to your contribution worldwide and/or to incorporate your contribution in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in your contribution.

If you do not want to grant to the University the rights set out above, you must not submit your contribution to Cyclopath.

By submitting your contribution to Cyclopath, you:

  • warrant that your contribution contains only data that you have the right to make available to the University for all the purposes specified above, is not defamatory, and does not infringe any law; and
  • indemnify the University against all legal fees, damages and other expenses that may be incurred by the University as a result of your breach of the above warranty; and
  • waive any moral rights in your contribution for the purposes specified above.

This license does not apply to data about you, covered in the Privacy Policy above.


There is no assurance that anything in Cyclopath is correct. Your use of Cyclopath data may lead to dangerous situations. You use this system entirely at your own risk.

Some geographic data in the Minnesota instance of Cyclopath ( originated with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Met Council, and Land Management Information Center. Therefore, the following disclaimers apply:

  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation makes no representation or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the reuse of data provided herewith, regardless of its format or the means of its transmission. There is no guarantee or representation to the user as to the accuracy, currency, suitability, or reliability of this data for any purpose. The user accepts the data 'as is', and assumes all risks associated with its use. By accepting this data, the user agrees not to transmit this data or provide access to it or any part of it to another party unless the user shall include with the data a copy of this disclaimer. The Minnesota Department of Transportation assumes no responsibility for actual or consequential damage incurred as a result of any user's reliance on this data.
  • The Geographic Information System (GIS) Data to which this notice is attached are made available pursuant to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13). THE GIS DATA ARE PROVIDED TO YOU AS IS AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY AS TO THEIR PERFORMANCE, MERCHANTABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. The GIS Data were developed by the Metropolitan Council for its own internal business purposes. The Metropolitan Council does not represent or warrant that the GIS Data or the data documentation are error-free, complete, current, or accurate. You are responsible for any consequences resulting from your use of the GIS Data or your reliance on the GIS Data. You should consult the data documentation for this particular GIS Data to determine the limitations of the GIS Data and the precision with which the GIS Data may depict distance, direction, location, or other geographic features. If you transmit or provide the GIS Data (or any portion of it) to another user, the GIS Data must include a copy of this disclaimer.

Some geographic data in the Colorado instance of Cyclopath ( originated with the Denver Regional Council of Governments. Therefore, the following disclaimer applies:

  • This data is intended for informational purposes only. DRCOG provides this information on an "as is" basis and makes no guarantee, representation or warranty; either express or implied, that the data will be error free. DRCOG further makes no guarantees, representations or warranties, either express or implied, as to the completeness, accuracy or correctness of the data, or as to merchantability or fitness of the data for a particular use or purpose. DRCOG is not responsible to any user for any costs, expenses, liabilities or damages arising from inconsistencies in its data or from any use of the information.