Frequently Asked Questions

Mapsafe Geospatial Data Sovereignty Website

Last updated: December 22, 2022

20 Seymonds Street
Grafton, Auckland, 1010
New Zealand

1. What is Mapsafe?

Mapsafe is a tool that completely safeguards sensitive geospatial datasets by implementing geoprivacy techniques within the browser. A sovereign data owner can load their shapefiles, and subsequently can perform geomasking, encryption and notarisation in the browser. During notarisation only a digital signature corresponding the encrypted file leaves the computer to be notarised on a blockchain. A recipient of the encrypted data, a sovereign data user, can then verify the encrypted file using the notarised signature corresponding the the encrypted data.

Mapsafe uses popular open source JavaScript libraries to safeguard data without ever requiring users to install or download any software. So whether you're a GIS expert who can't be bothered to script this method yourself, or a GIS newbie who knows you need to mask your data but aren't quite sure how, Mapsafe makes your life easier and brings previously cumbersome methods into reach.

2. Should I trust this site with my data?

When you load your files, no data leaves your browser, and all geoprivacy techniques processing is done client-side using JavaScript. In fact, the application has been specifically designed so that it can be run offline for the utmost confidentiality. That means you don't need to trust this site: you can just load the page, unplug your internet, and do your work with the guarantee that your data isn't being stolen.

4. Is it foolproof?

No, and neither is any other privacy-related tool. Mapsafe drastically simplifies the process of masking, encryption and notarising geospatial datasets while also providing general advice, but that doesn't guarantee that your data can't be re-identified. It is up to you to ensure that you're using this tool appropriately and that you understand its limitations! For more information, check out the disclaimer.


Mapsafe uses and is grateful for a number of open source software projects, including Maskmy.XYZ, Web.Crypto, Web3.js, Ethers.js, HTML5Up, TurfJS, Shapefile-JS, Shp-Write, JQuery, FileSaver.js, JSZip, Proj4JS, and OpenLayers. Their respective licenses can be found here