3 Free Ways to Geolocate By IP

Adam DuVander, March 31st, 2009

hostip.infoDating websites don’t have anything on you now. Convert an Internet user’s current IP address (like 208.75.242.38) to a city name, or even geo coordinates with these IP lookup APIs. And do it for free.

Hostip.info is a community-powered database of IP mapping. Its REST API is easy to incorporate into server-side code, with several options for the type of output. Check out our hostip.info API profile, where you can see the mashups already using this API.

Blogama (now IPInfoDB) is a new IP geolocation API with streamlined data based on the MaxMind API. Marc-Andre Caron reduced duplication and surprisingly has a database of only 1.2 million records that is still incredibly accurate to the city level. Even better, as Make pointed out, you can load the data into your own database for speedier access. Our IPInfoDB API profile.

MaxMind is an API of a different sort. Rather than call to a web service, its free version is distributed as a binary. There are open source libraries for common programming languages to access the IP data. Find out more in our MaxMind GeoIP API profile.

Now that you can find your user’s location, what can you do? For starters, how about centering your map mashup automatically on the user’s city? If your site requires registration, why not help fill out that profile?

How will you use this geo data? Is it cool, or a little creepy?

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19 Responses to “3 Free Ways to Geolocate By IP”

March 31st, 2009
at 11:27 am
Comment by: 3 služby pro lokalizaci podle IP adresy » nabito.net

[...] Zdroj 3 služby pro lokalizaci podle IP adresyLinkujJaggtopclanky.czvybrali.sme.skGoogleFacebookDiggdel.icio.usFurlYahoo! [...]

March 31st, 2009
at 5:06 pm
Comment by: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | shiner.clay

[...] 3 free ways to geolocate by IP address [...]

March 31st, 2009
at 8:34 pm
Comment by: andy.edmonds.be › links for 2009-03-31

[...] 3 Free Ways to Geolocate By IP (tags: geocoding api geolocation webservice maps) [...]

April 1st, 2009
at 4:35 pm
Comment by: Comment géolocaliser une personne avec son adresse IP | ALLNews.fr

[...] [Via] [...]

April 5th, 2009
at 12:24 pm
Comment by: 3 种通过 IP 地址对访问者定位的方法

[...] 翻译自:3 Free Ways to Geolocate By IP [...]

April 8th, 2009
at 2:41 pm
Comment by: Roll Your Own IP Geocoder - Map Scripting

[...] Marc-Andre Caron compiled a MySQL IP database that you can install on your own server. Read on for some basic instructions to roll your own geocoder. If you’d rather use a web service to get at the data, check out my post at ProgrammableWeb. [...]

June 2nd, 2009
at 12:50 am
Comment by: IP Geolocation Worst Practices

[...] same place as my server, Culver City, California. That is because MaxMind, and similar services, use IP addresses to look up location. Every computer connected to the Internet has its own IP [...]

June 19th, 2009
at 10:58 am
Comment by: Larry

The SpamID.net IP locator is also programmable and free. It doesn’t use a large database, but instead locates in real time. Its main advantage over hostip.info is that it returns a lot more locations. Its main advantage over Maxmind’s free product is that it is not affected by newly routable or reassigned IP addresses, which Maxmind often takes months to update. Its main disadvantage is that some queries take longer to run — the tradeoff of not maintaining a large database that can have out of date entries at any particular moment.

July 27th, 2009
at 12:01 am
Comment by: Hidden Google Feature Shows User Location

[...] is perhaps easier to use than the 3 IP geolocation methods I described in a previous post. Though, this is a JavaScript-only API, meaning it cannot be [...]

October 13th, 2009
at 1:47 am
Comment by: Dave

Actually their all rather uninteresting as the location given is the registered address of the IP block register assignee – typically the tier 2 or 3 internet provider. As a result the results are generally useless if you actually want to know with any degree of certainty where the user is. As an example choose some SingTel IPs in the continental US. All three GeoIP sources (which use the same source data anyway) will claim that the host is in Singapore – useless.

November 4th, 2010
at 6:01 am
Comment by: Quova Adds Free IP Geolocation API

[...] previously covered 3 free to geolocate any user. Today there’s another option, with Quova offering its service for free for the first time. [...]

November 5th, 2010
at 10:13 am
Comment by: La veille du week-end (quatrième) | LoïcG

[...] services gratuits de géolocalisation par IP : via @theystolemynick (j’en parlais [...]

April 10th, 2011
at 11:18 pm
Comment by: Anibal Kozatek

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November 12th, 2011
at 1:06 am
Comment by: Mike

http://www.igobu.com – primul website de socializare din Romania !

November 13th, 2011
at 3:03 am
Comment by: Andrew30

oo yeah…this is the best article…tnx :X

February 28th, 2012
at 1:28 pm
Comment by: airman

some other geolocation solutions:
http://ipinfodb.com
http://geoips.com

June 28th, 2012
at 9:31 am
Comment by: der

Your Biogama link leads to a mailcious site.

July 13th, 2012
at 4:44 pm
Comment by: Adam DuVander

Updated the post to include links to IPInfoDB (the new name of Blogama).

November 18th, 2012
at 6:35 am
Comment by: Region07.net

Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely
off topic but I had to tell someone!

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.