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Masking Geodata

Thu, Jul 16, 2020 | 2:00 pm

Researchers often publish maps which may contain sensitive or private data, such as the addresses of patients or the location of archeological sites. In order to reduce the risk of exposing sensitive data or violating someone’s privacy, the researcher may use a geographic mask, a set of techniques which change the location of points on a map to protect privacy without overly changing spatial patterns.

MaskMy.XYZ is a tool that simplifies geographic masking: there is nothing to install, data remains on a user’s computer, and a knowledge of GIS is not necessary. It uses popular open source JavaScript libraries to mask data without ever requiring users to install or download any software. MaskMy.XYZ does donut masking: each point is randomly moved between a minimum and maximum distance, confined to a space resembling a donut. If you use maps, join us to learn more about this easy but effective tool.

Please contact Greg McKinney, gregmck@temple.edu, with any questions.