most accurate way to map IP addresses to geographic locations

gaog66 used Ask the Experts™

I need advice on how to accurately mapping an IP address to its geographic location. There are several candidates that I figured out...

Google analytics' map overlay
open source

I have never used any. You might have better recommendations.

One issue is that most of the mapping are based on ISP registration. It is possible that an ISP is located in one city, but the actual user is in another city. How severe is this issue and are there better solutions?

Thank you very much for your advice!

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Top Expert 2010

ip2location uses ISP based registration  and yes ISP based registration is not accurate as you said that  ISP is located in one city, but the actual user can be  in another city.

You can try Geobytes , i have heard about it but never used it
I recently used to get location info for a client


It seems to do pretty well getting to the zip code.

It depends upon how large the provider is that is handing out the IP addresses and how they have their addresses organized.  Most often, you will get the city where the provider is, not necessarily where the actual IP address is assigned.  Only the provider knows where the IP address is assigned, so any lookups will be limited to the registered possessor of the IP block in question.


Hi alanpetersen,

Thanks a lot for your information. May I know the specific area of your application (i.e., US nation-wide, or a certain state)? Also do you have an assessment of how accurate the zipcodes are?


Fully agree to profgeek's comment.
To add on, these tools may be fairly accurate (in terms of country) for individual clients/businesses (i.e. excluding ISPs), if the client is small and has only 1 registered business address.
It is almost never accurate for finding out where a particular hop in a traceroute is. This is because large global Internet providers may use the IP addresses for their core network anywhere in the world, while the IP address is registered only to the business address in one country. So if you're trying to figure out where each hop of a traceroute is geographically, ask the ISP, or get clues from the router hop names instead.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program.  See my comment at the end of the question for more details.

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