We had a bug a little while back where we were accessing an old database for the GeoIP API.

That meant that, for users whose geolocation were mapped from their IP address, it was incorrect/unknown for IP subnets not in the database.

Now, 1-2 years later, can we go back and retroactively retrieve the correct location for each of those IP addresses with a more updated database? Or, is it possible, for example, that ISPs may recycle IP addresses across different cities/states?

We used to regenerate your location based on your IP address on a regular basis whenever you were logged into DaniWeb. In such a case, if using a VPN, we might have your location here one day, there the next.

However, in the interest of user privacy, we decided to no longer track our users around the globe.

We now retrieve your location via the IP->Geolocation database only when you first sign up. After that, you have complete control of when your location is updated in our database by clicking the 'Update Location' button in your user settings. When using this method, we first attept to use Javascript to request browser access to your wifi geocordinates. If you deny us access, we then use a GeoIP lookup database. But, again, it's all only done on demand now. You also have the ability to delete all of your location history.

I actually do want to add that individual actions taken (posting, etc.) are each attached to the IP address used for that action. However, that data is currently not converted to a geographic location, used to update the map in your member profile, or for the purposes of user matching.

Hi Dani,

I may have shared I was on a team long ago with tracking locations of fleet vehicles this area got a little looking into. I am not an authority but as we did meet with cellular carriers we did pose questions about IP assignments and more. Mostly for mobile use since that's what the product used.

I'll assume you are familiar with routing tables or have heard of such so the deal is that IP addresses don't move too far as this table has to keep up with what IP address is going to what area. And now with IPv6, the old ways of having staff to maintain the tables is asking far too much. But I digress.

It was over a decade ago and even today I have yet to find a cheap or free to use GeoIP API that has all the IP subnets and addresses.

What to do? Consider a two tier GeoIP system. Your choice on implemention but maybe your own GeoIP database which you build from users that don't resolve from what you use or will use today. Think of it like a failover system.

  1. About the 1-2 years later question. This sounds like you and your code.
  2. About the recycle IP addresses across cities and states.
    Because of the router tables and more, they don't move quickly as in seconds every day. In our GPS tracking system, we did log IP addresses and after the first month I don't think there were new IPs for months at a time. The usual expontial curve downwards.

Hope this helps a little.

Hi rproffitt,

Thank you for your response.

I actually just a few moments ago heard from James, DaniWeb's systems administrator, and he said that at the hosting company he used to work at (and the one DaniWeb is still hosted at), they would regularly buy IP blocks that were previously allocated to Russia. So it does seem, in his experience, IP blocks could be allocated to Russia in one year and Dallas the next.

Therefore, that answers my question in that, for the 1ish year that our GeoIP database was stale and not able to properly map everyone, we cannot go back now with an updated database and recover the locations of those people.

In terms of what you're saying, we've actually had great success with IP->Geo lookup databases. We currently use Maxmind's GeoIP2 and have been quite thrilled with it for the past 15 years or so. There was just an issue where our license had expired and we weren't downloading the new database every week, and it was nearly a year before the issue was detected. So we weren't able to properly map everyone during that time period.

I'm sorry but I didn't think to give an answer to the topic question. The answer to does geoip ever change was yes. You confirmed that with the need to update databases over time.

Sorry, I'm not understanding your question. Your location is based on where you happen to be. If you hop on a plane and fly to a different location, you'll be in a different location.

If you're referring to your location as known by DaniWeb, you can go to your Control Panel to update it.

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