Open Geo Hub

Spatial Data Anonymization Made Easy

Step by step guide:

Step 0: Should I anonymize my data?

You may want to anonymize your data if:

Step 1: Choose the right method

The two methods differ in their level of complexity and hence in how long it takes to process them. The donut approach adds a random noise based on a minimum and maximum threshold while the advanced method optimizes the noise based on the context and k-anonymity. Learn more

Go with the donut approach if:

Go with the advanced anonymizer if:

Step 2: prepare your data

  1. Remove all personal information and identifiers from your data. You are uploading your data to the internet. So you should never include sensitive information that can be used to identify individuals.
  2. Make sure your website’s number of rows does not exceed the current limit (For donut method 10000, for Advanced method 1500. If your dataset is bigger, you can split it into separate files to divide the task.
  3. Make sure your data is in Shapefile format. These tools only work with Shapefile format (ESRI ©)
  4. Make sure your data is in a Metric coordinate system. The process will fail if distances in your coordinate system are angular.
  5. Zip your shapefile (and all corresponding files) (to .zip format)

Step 3: Get yourself a token

  1. Get yourself an analysis token with a valid email (advanced anonymization results will be emailed to this address)
  2. Here you can also retrieve your previously generated valid tokens, or delete them.
  3. Tokens will be automatically deleted after 24 hours. You can delete them manually if you want your email address to be erased from the server before the token expires.

Step 4: Go to the tool

  1. Go to your desired tool and provide the needed information (the recently generated token should be automatically loaded – if not, use the good old “copy and paste” method)
  2. Run the analysis. In donut method, you will be redirected to the results page where you can download the anonymized data as a zipped shapefile. For the advanced anonymization, your request will be queued for processing and the results will be emailed to you as soon as they are available. (The link in the email will expire after 30 minutes)



GeoHub will not keep your data or your email address after the process has completed. Your email address is deleted from the server as soon as your process is ready and the email is sent. Your original and anonymized data will be erased within one hour from the completion of task from our sever.

How to cite:

You can cite this tool as follows:

Open Geo Hub. (2021).

For referring to the the methodology used for anonymization please use:
Hasanzadeh, K., Kajosaari, A., Häggman, D., & Kyttä, M. (2020). A context sensitive approach to anonymizing public participation GIS data: From development to the assessment of anonymization effects on data quality. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 83, 101513.