Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

ShareLoc — an open platform for sharing localization microscopy data

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: ShareLoc facilitates sharing, viewing, tagging and searching of SMLM data.

Data availability

All data used in this study are available on the ShareLoc platform ( and on Zenodo (, and each dataset has a unique DOI.

Code availability

The source code underlying the ShareLoc platform is available on Zenodo at and on GitHub at Specifications and implementations of the *.smlm file format are available on Zenodo at and on GitHub at Tools for batch download and to parse *.smlm are available on GitHub at Scripts used in Supplementary Fig. 1 to compare file sizes and downloading times are available at


  1. Lelek, M. et al. Nat. Rev. Methods Primers 1, 1–27 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Nicovich, P. R., Owen, D. M. & Gaus, K. Nat. Protoc. 12, 453–460 (2017).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Zhang, Z., Nishimura, Y. & Kanchanawong, P. Mol. Biol. Cell 28, 333–345 (2017).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Williams, E. et al. Nat. Methods 14, 775–781 (2017).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Sarkans, U. et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 46, D1266–D1270 (2018). D1.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Wilkinson, M. D. et al. Sci. Data 3, 160018 (2016).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Bai, J. Quick Tutorial of ShareLoc

  8. Ouyang, W., Mueller, F., Hjelmare, M., Lundberg, E. & Zimmer, C. Nat. Methods 16, 1199–1200 (2019).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Ouyang, W. ShareLoc Utilities (2022).

  10. Schütz, M., Krösl, K. & Wimmer, M. Real-time continuous level of detail rendering of point clouds. In 2019 IEEE Conf. Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR) 103–110 (2019).

Download references


We thank H. Harmse (EMBL-EBI) for help in linking ShareLoc to the EBI ontology lookup service; M. Schuetz and F. Woitzel for development and sharing of the potree and Fairy Dust viewers, respectively; M. Lelek for advice on metadata; J. Swedlow, J. Moore and S. Besson for stimulating several improvements of the platform. C.L. acknowledges funding from CNRS ATIP AO2016. S.F.H.B. and P.K. acknowledge funding support from Mechanobiology Institute seed funding, Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE2019-T2-2-014) and National Research Foundation (QEP-P7). M.K.S., M.M.C. and C.Z. acknowledge funding by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant ANR 17 CE13 0026 02) and M.M.C. by Labex DYNAMO (ANR-11-LABX-0011-DYNAMO) and MITOFUSION (ANR-19-CE11-0018). J.B., B.L. and C.Z. acknowledge funding by Institut Pasteur, by the Région Ile-de-France in the framework of DIM ELICIT, and by the Inception program (Investissement d’Avenir grant ANR-16-CONV-0005).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



W.O. designed and implemented the ShareLoc platform. J.B. tested the platform, curated data, and wrote documentation. M.K.S., C.L., P.B., S.F.H.B., T.K., M.S., P.K., N.B., M.M.C. and B.L. provided SMLM data. C.Z. coordinated the project and wrote the manuscript with input and edits from W.O., J.B. and B.L. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Wei Ouyang or Christophe Zimmer.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

N.B. is shareholder of Abbelight. All other authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Methods thanks Jason Swedlow and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Notes 1 and 2; Supplementary Figures 1 and 2

Supplementary Software

ThunderSTORM plugin to import and export *.smlm files

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ouyang, W., Bai, J., Singh, M.K. et al. ShareLoc — an open platform for sharing localization microscopy data. Nat Methods 19, 1331–1333 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing