An investigation of geographic mapping techniques for internet hosts

Venkata N. Padmanabhan, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this paper, we ask whether it is possible to build an IP address to geographic location mapping service for Internet hosts. Such a service would enable a large and interesting class of location-aware applications. This is a challenging problem because an IP address does not inherently contain an indication of location. We present and evaluate three distinct techniques, collectively referred to as IP2Geo, for determining the geographic location of Internet hosts. The first technique, GeoTrack, infers location based on the DNS names of the target host or other nearby network nodes. The second technique, GeoPing, uses network delay measurements from geographically distributed locations to deduce the coordinates of the target host. The third technique, GeoCluster, combines partial (and possibly inaccurate) host-to-location mapping information and BGP prefix information to infer the location of the target host. Using extensive and varied data sets, we evaluate the performance of these techniques and identify fundamental challenges in deducing geographic location from the IP address of an Internet host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
EventACM SIGCOMM 2001- Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computers Communications- - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2001Aug 31 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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