Enterprise-level IP Geolocation Made Available Via API

The ' Big Data' service Infochimps now offers IP geolocation from Digital Element. Infochimps is best known for making huge datasets available as bulk downloads and through RESTful APIs. Digital Element has traditionally offered enterprise level services to large companies like AOL, CNN, and Ask.Com. Both companies hope that the Infochimps RESTful API interface and aggressive entry pricing will entice smaller companies to use the service.

IP Geolocation takes an IP address from the computer visiting a web site and associates it with a location. This can be as specific as an address but is more likely to be a zip-code or neighborhood. Digital Element claims that it's service can identify the correct city for an IP address 95.5% of the time.  You can get the correct country 99.9% of the time.

Pushpin map

GPS-enabled smartphones and WiFi Geolocation offer better precision, but those location methods can be overkill for some applications. They can also be impractical when most visits are generated from home computers. Airlines need to know which countries customers come from when they buy tickets online. A political campaign might want to target specific content on their site by city of origin. Once you have a location match you can use the API to find facts including primary or secondary language spoken, Age by Gender, City, connection speed, and domain server name.

Infochimps substantially reduces access barriers to Digital Element IP location business by integrating it into the Query API. The service is free for 5,000 calls per month. A $20 "Brass Monkey" subscription that also includes other Infochimps datasets will get you 500,000 calls per month.  In return Infochimps can offer a highly accurate enterprise IP geolocation service to complement the other IP geolocation products in it's marketplace.

Photo by Marc Levin

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: Putting Rap on the Map. Literally.