Posted: 22 Aug 2011 01:08 AM PDT
Did you know that geolocation and other geographic location services use your IP address, Wi-Fi connection and GPS coordinates to determine where you are located? That's right, in our present world where questions like "What is on your mind?" or "What are you doing?" are already getting old, the next big wave, even in social networks is "where are you?" Facebook , Foursquare and Gowalla are just some of the services that are revolutionizing the location-based services including the hundreds of apps that run on both Android and iPhone platforms.
By determining your geographic location by use of the IP address, it is possible to offer more localized services and allow you to enjoy a much fuller user experience especially when using localized services like those mentioned above. Some common applications for geolocation by IP include chat programs, Weblogs and other distributed computing environments where location data is used to provide a local experience.
How though can you use the geolocation by IP address to provide localized services? To implement this on a website or an application, you can use PEAR system which comes with a PHP package that can assist in retrieving such information. Alternatively, the PERL module can also be used. Another useful geolocation resource is the DNS LOC. This resource provides a means for expressing location information in the Domain Name System. This is done by adding the server location information on the DNS registration page. The use of DNS LOC makes it easy for applications to use this information without having to do any extra work. In addition, it allows location based services to estimate your location based on ping times and traffic even where the signal has been bounced to the second or third server.
To help geolocation by IP address, some service providers associate the dynamic IP addresses of users to an internal naming scheme that they keep and then shortening this information to some name like a12-55-1-00.try.hereiam.com. Some resources can then be used to decipher the country code, associated city and the region of the city. One of these is the GNS (GEOnet Names Server).
If you are uncomfortable using location-based services that track your IP, you can always use a proxy or simply disable the service on your end.
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