In this paper, a new method for private geoinformation exchange, entitled access restricted information exchange steganography for spatial information systems (ARS), is presented. ARS hides and recovers a message of substantial length within digital images while maintaining the original image size and dynamic range. Applications for such an information hiding scheme include access restriction to information, authentication, revision tracking of digital signals and covert communication over communication networks. The novel contribution of this paper is to propose a new method of limiting access to the hidden data in image databases (ID) of spatial information systems (SIS). (c) 2005 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.