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 or 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. More information: https://www.lacnic.net/1002/1/lacnic/whois

The information obtained through by the whois system is the information each organization provides in the service agreement they sign when receiving resources from LACNIC. This means that the city and country obtained through the whois system might not match the actual location where the numbering resources are being used. 

In addition to the whois information, 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, either 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 contractually bound by their agreements with the owners of the broadcasting rights.

In many cases, geolocation is also important to keep certain users from abusing online services, for example, by offering e-commerce websites a tool to reduce fraud or limit their services to certain 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 Latin America and the Caribbean region, including the country and city of the organization receiving the resources. 

This list can be downloaded from the following links:

The files are published with the following format:

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 accessing to the following link: ftp://ftp.lacnic.net/lacnic/dbase/lacnic.db.csv.gz

It should be noted that the information provided might correspond to the city and country registered in the service agreement each member maintains with LACNIC or to the client address stated by the member. These may not match the actual location where the IP resources are being used.

Geo Feeds – Beta Service

LACNIC has been working on developing a beta IP geolocation service, implementing a project inspired by the IETF draft titled “Self-published IP Geolocation Data.” [ID:google-self-published-geofeeds]

Administrators of LACNIC member organizations can go to https://geofeeds.lacnic.net and specify the country, region, city and/or post code of the location where their IP addresses are being used. The information published on our platform is publicly available at the following link: https://geofeeds.lacnic.net/geo/geofeeds.csv

What are the differences between Geo Feeds and whois information?

LACNIC publishes information on IP assignments and sub-assignments through different means, including 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 the organizations that have been received IP addresses and their contacts. In all cases, the geographic information (address, city, country) obtained from LACNIC might correspond to the city and country registered in the service agreement each member maintains with LACNIC or to the client address stated by the member, which may not match the actual location where the IP resources are being used.

Because this registry information is free and publicly available, 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.

Geo Feeds 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, city and post code.

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