IP Geolocation

What is IP-based geolocation?

IP-based geolocation is a technique used to estimate the real-world geographic location of a device through which you are connected to the Internet, based on its IP address. This mechanism only works if the IP address of the device appears in a database along with its corresponding location. Examples of the level of detail that can be registered in the database include the postal address, city, country, region and geographic coordinates of the location where an IP address is being used.

How can I obtain information about an IP address or an IP address range?

All IP address ranges assigned in Latin America and the Caribbean are registered in the LACNIC database and can be queried through the  Whois service.

Check the following link for further information: https://www.lacnic.net/1002/1/lacnic/whois

Each organization provides information in the service agreement that it signs when receiving resources from LACNIC. It is this information that is obtained through the Whois service. This means that the city and the country obtained through a search using the Whois system might not match the actual location where the numbering resources are being used.

In addition to the information obtained via Whois, there are many commercial providers of geolocation databases. LACNIC is not responsible for the content of such databases.

Why would someone want to know the real-world location of an IP address or range of IP addresses?

Many websites and online services must be able to identify where their visitors are located for a number of reasons: to display the website in the user's native language, to automatically complete online forms or to produce better search results based on the user's location.

Many sites that distribute multimedia content need to know where their users are located to restrict access based on each user's geographic location, as they are bound by their contractual agreements with the owners of the broadcasting rights.

In many cases geolocation is also important to keep some users from abusing online services by offering e-commerce websites tools to reduce fraud or to limit their services to specific countries or regions.

LAC-2018-3: IP-Based Geolocation Policy

Since LAC-2018-3 was approved, every day LACNIC publishes a list of the assignments and sub-assignments made in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean including the country and city of each organization receiving resources.

This list can be downloaded from the following links:

The files are published in the following format:

  • aut-num: shows the Autonomous System Number that has been assigned.
  • inetnum: shows the IPv4 address block that has been assigned, along with its prefix. Example: 123.234.123/24
  • inet6num: shows the IPv6 address block that has been assigned, along with its prefix. Example: 2801:1b8::/44
  • city: shows the city where the organization that received the block is located.
  • country: shows the country where the organization that received the block is located.
  • created: shows the date on which the record for the block was created.
  • changed: shows the date on which the record for the block was modified.
  • status: shows the type of IPv4 or IPv6 assignment. There are four possible status values:
    • allocated: direct assignment by LACNIC to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) member organization
    • reallocated: sub-assignment by an ISP member organization to one of their clients
    • assigned: direct assignment by LACNIC to an End User (banks, governments, universities)
    • reassigned: sub-assignment by an End User to one of their subsidiaries

More information on policy LAC-2018-3: https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2018-3

Also, you can find this report in .csv format at the following link:  ftp://ftp.lacnic.net/lacnic/dbase/lacnic.db.csv.gz

Note that the information provided should correspond to the city and country registered in the service agreement each member maintains with LACNIC or to the client address given by a member.

However, these might not match the actual location where the IP resources are being used.

Geofeeds

LACNIC has developed an IP geolocation service inspired by the IETF draft titled Self-published IP Geolocation Data. [ID:google-self-publisehd-geofeeds].

In the “Geolocation” section of MI LACNIC https://milacnic.lacnic.net/lacnic administrators of LACNIC member organizations can voluntarily generate geolocation information for their IP addresses. 

How can LACNIC member organizations contribute?

Each LACNIC member organization wishing to contribute information regarding their IP address blocks can enter information on where the IP addresses are being used (country, region, city). 

Where is this information available?

The information included on our platform has been generated by our members and is publicly available at the following link: https://milacnic.lacnic.net/lacnic/geofeeds.

That link allows anyone interested in doing so to download a .csv file with all the geofeed records contained in the system.

What are the differences between Geofeeds and Whois information?

LACNIC publishes information on IP assignments and sub-assignments through different means: Whois port 43, Bulkwhois, RDAP, delegation file and the dbase/lacnic.db.gz file (the result of policy LAC-2018-3). These can be queried to obtain information on organizations that have received IP addresses and their contacts. In all cases the geographic information (postal address, city, country) obtained from LACNIC might correspond to the city and country registered in the service agreement with LACNIC or to the client address stated by the member. However, this information might not match the actual location where the IP resources are being used.

This registry information is free and publicly available; for this reason, some organizations have been using it for IP geolocation purposes. However, the nature of this data means that location accuracy is low and this practice creates issues for customers, ISPs and content providers, among others.

Geofeeds is a free public tool that allows network operators in the region to explicitly state where their IP resources are being used, subdivide the blocks they have been allocated and specify location information for each sub-block detailing information such as country, region and city.

 

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