The contents of this legacy page are no longer maintained nor supported, and are made available only for historical purposes.

NetGeo - The Internet Geographic Database

NOTE: NetGeo has not been actively maintained since 1999, and this will probably not change in the foreseeable future. As a result, there are several known major issues affecting accuracy and service availability. Please be warned that NetGeo may give wildly incorrect results, especially for recently allocated or re-assigned IP addresses.

Also, domain-name lookups are no longer supported.

NetGeo is a database and collection of Perl scripts used to map IP addresses and AS numbers to geographical locations. CAIDA is developing this system for use in network visualization/analysis tools. It is available for use on the web, though subject to rate limiting. The source and database, however, are not available for download at this time.

To find the latitude/longitude values for a target IP address or AS, NetGeo first searches for a record containing the target in its own database. The NetGeo database caches the location information parsed from the results of previous whois lookups, to minimize the load on whois servers. If a record for the target is found in the database, NetGeo returns the requested information, e.g., latitude and longitude. If no matching record is found in the NetGeo database, NetGeo performs one or more whois lookups using the ARIN/APNIC/RIPE whois servers, until a whois record for the target is found.

After obtaining a record from a whois server, the NetGeo Perl scripts parse the whois record and extract location information and the date of last update. The NetGeo parser attempts to extract the city, state (or province, district, etc.), and country from the text of the whois record. For US addresses the parser also extracts the zip code, if possible. If the parser is unable to parse an address it attempts to find an area code or international phone code in the contact section; the phone code is mapped to a country and then the parser attempts to parse the address again, using the hint provided by the phone code. The parser also guesses the country from email addresses with 2-letter TLDs found in the contact section.
The NetGeo database contains tables for mapping location names (city, state, or country) or US zip codes to latitude/longitude values. These tables are used to map address components found by the NetGeo parser to latitude/longitude, then the city, state, country, latitude and longitude are stored with the target IP address or AS in the NetGeo database. Phone numbers or email addresses or any other data from the contact section are not stored in the NetGeo database.

Development of this tool was funded by NSF under ANI-9996248.
An abstract was submitted to INET 2000, you can take a look at it at

NetGeo technology has been licensed to Ixia, who markets a geographic location product called IxMapping (Discontinued). Ixia's IxMapping services is designed to assist Internet content providers, e-commerce firms, ISPs, and others to track the geographic location of Internet users, destination servers, and provider hardware.

Related Objects

See to explore related objects to this document in the CAIDA Resource Catalog.
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