The Next Generation IP Geolocation service

The Next Generation IP Geolocation service

BigDataCloud March 19, 2019


In our preceding article, IP Geolocation Demystified, we delved into how IP Geolocation functions, the methods employed by service providers, and the drawbacks of the present-day technologies in this realm.

After comprehensive research and development, BigDataCloud stands poised to revolutionise the IP Geolocation industry. We're introducing services that adeptly address these challenges and the reservations associated with them.

Distinguishing BigDataCloud from Traditional Services

We at BigDataCloud have critically observed the processes and strategies that extant IP Geolocation providers lean on. More often than not, their location estimations fall short, being imprecise, outdated, and error-riddled, as underscored in our prior piece.

By learning from these longstanding industry missteps and undertaking a fresh examination of the techniques and technologies in play, we've crafted a significantly refined, streamlined, and more pinpointed solution. What follows delves into some of the innovative technology we've embedded in our approach.

Demystifying the Underlying Technology

The Internet operates as a packet-switched, hierarchical network, bearing a resemblance to the traditional parcel postage systems used across the globe. When a device connects to the internet with the intention of communicating with another device, for instance, a website, it dispatches a data packet towards the designated destination. If the origin is directly linked to the destination, the packet travels directly. However, in the majority of cases, this isn't so, and the packet necessitates routing through network routers ensuring global connectivity.

This routing procedure aligns closely with traditional parcel postage services. As an illustration, if a parcel is dispatched from Norwood, South Australia to Denver, Colorado in the US, the parcel first arrives at the local post office, presumably in Norwood, SA. On inspection, as the intended destination is not within the post office’s delivery realm, the parcel is channeled to a higher hub – perhaps the broader regional postage centre in Adelaide, South Australia's capital. These expansive hubs, especially those adjacent to an international airport, utilise certain strategies such as determining the handling process if the parcel is US-bound or specifically to Colorado in the US. If no direct international route is available from that hub, the parcel may be further sent to another hub within Australia, potentially Sydney in NSW, where the essential international route exists. Subsequently, it's directed to a hub in the US, possibly a significant one but not necessarily in the vicinity of Colorado. The parcel is continually rerouted until it reaches the nearest post office that caters to the ultimate destination. Only then is it delivered to the intended recipient.

From this scenario, the following inferences are clear:

  • Every postal hub or post office possesses a distinct routing policy.
  • Some can accept and directly deliver parcels to recipients, whilst others might solely sort and channel to other hubs domestically.
  • A few might facilitate routing to international destinations.
  • Certain hubs may undertake all the aforementioned tasks.
  • Every delivery-capable postal hub or post office has a defined service region.
  • The terminal post office in the delivery sequence is typically the closest to the destination.
  • It's plausible to surmise that if an individual receives a parcel delivery in Denver, Colorado, they reside or are employed in that vicinity.


This logic seamlessly applies to the Internet's workings. In the online realm, countries or states manifest as Autonomous Systems (AS). Routers partake in the delivery process much like postal hubs do. Some cater directly to customers at their destination, such as Access or Aggregation routers, while others channel traffic within the same AS, known as Core routers. Some manage inbound and outbound extra AS traffic, termed as Edge or Border routers. A few can perform all these functions, dubbed Multifunctional routers. Autonomous Systems (AS) mirror Countries/States in the parcel delivery mechanism and interconnect through predefined yet dynamic and adaptable policies, propelled by the Border Router Gateway (BGP) protocol.

Drawing parallels with the postal analogy, one can ascertain the geographical location of every IP address with significant certainty if:

  • We're able to discern and categorise all publicly accessible network routers on the Internet.
  • We pinpoint the actual service territory for each of these routers.
  • We discern the final router that serves each remaining IP address on the internet.
  • Last, with knowledge of the proximate router interface and its anticipated service territory, we can gauge the probable location for every accessible IP address worldwide.

Here's how BigDataCloud operates (Patented Technology):

  • We non-intrusively discover the entire routable IP address space, unveiling all the public 'postage' routes globally.
  • We record and classify all detected global router interfaces.
  • Then, utilising a relatively small number of IP addresses with known geolocations (field evidence data), we gauge the actual service area for every identified router interface.
  • Ultimately, by understanding the nearest router interface and its expected service area, we can estimate the likely location for every accessible IP address worldwide.

The primary advantages of BigDataCloud’s Next Generation IP geolocation technology are:

  • Enhanced geolocation accuracy on a worldwide scale.
  • Improved data granularity – no more blocks, offering single IP address geolocation resolution!
  • Superior data update frequency – the industry's first genuinely daily updated system.
  • Richer data, showcasing the operational area in addition to the traditional location point estimation.
  • Perfectly tailored for mobile network geolocation.


Keen to see an example of our Geolocation services at work? Visit our 'What is My IP?' page to experience the rapidity and quality of data our APIs deliver.