Do You Know Who Has Your Mapping Data? If Not, Protect it With VectorLock® – The First Security System For Shapefiles

July 19, 2011 -- As the importance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) departments have grown in both corporations and governments alike, so too has the ‘value’ of the datasets that GIS professionals create, maintain and update. These organizations invest significant resources on proprietary and sensitive geographic databases with no effective way to secure them from internal and external threats. As Ernst and Young states in Information Security in a Borderless World (April 2011), “It’s time to rethink information security programs and the strategies organizations should use to keep their most valuable assets safe.”

With eMap International’s VectorLock, the first security system for shapefiles, organizations will finally be able to secure their most valuable mapping assets from both internal and external threats. VectorLock is an ESRI ArcGIS® extension that allows GIS administrators to:

  • Limit how long shapefiles can be used;
  • Control user access and permissions to these datasets;
  • And preserve the integrity of data.

Take for example these common applications of shapefiles that are currently protected by relatively unenforceable licensing and employment agreements:

  • Proprietary leasing information is shared in a data room with competing oil and gas firms who may work with you on a joint venture production project; but what happens to this proprietary data if the project does not move forward?
  • Sensitive and/or classified shapefiles are transferred between multiple government contractors; but how do you assure data security and integrity?
  • Your company has a large GIS division that is generating extremely sensitive infrastructure information in shapefile format for government and utility clients; but what happens to these shapefiles when employees leave for a position at a competing firm?
  • The Department of Transportation was just sent the newest version of your pipeline route which their operations crews use to decide where to and not to dig; but are they updating their pipeline database with the most current route information?
  • Your organization generates revenue by selling shapefiles that you create and update on a regular basis; but what happens if your clients give this information out to others or decide not renew their contract next year?

By employing eMap International’s patented technology, VectorLock, you can assure your data is secure for the first time ever in all these situations by controlling who can access the data and then by setting a time limit (e.g. an expiration date) for this access.

For more information on VectorLock, please refer to these informational pieces that can be downloaded from this website.

If you would like to watch a short video showing the simplicity of licensing data with VectorLock, please refer to this website.

 “Information security should be a foundational element of your organization’s enterprise-wide risk management strategy.” (Ernst & Young, April 2011) And once your shapefiles are protected with VectorLock, GIS administrators, lawyers and managers can be sure that their organization’s risk management strategy covers all their sensitive mapping data.

About eMap International

Since 1999, eMap International has provided the highest quality geospatial products and consulting to a wide range of academic, commercial and government clients.  Working with clients from Fortune 500 firms to individuals, global academic institutions of all sizes and key federal, state and local agencies, eMap has a proven track record of delivering project-specific geospatial products, including satellite and aerial imagery, elevation models and web services, as well as innovative solutions such as Impervious Surface Mapping and ImageBoost.  With over 80 years of geospatial industry experience, eMap International is uniquely suited to provide you with expert geospatial consulting, superior technical support and responsive customer service. For more information visit:

About Par Government Systems – our development partner for VectorLock

PAR Government is comprised of Rome Research Corporation (Technical Services), PAR Government Systems Corporation (Applied Technology) and PAR Australia led by one executive management team and supported by a unified business management organization. With this structure, the unique technical capabilities of each company are delivered to the Government in a completely transparent manner. PAR Government delivers innovative information management solutions through advanced technology and professional services to Federal, State, and local Government agencies as well as private industry customers throughout the world.  Our commitment is clear: to accomplish the mission.

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