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Easy to Track the Geographical Location Based on IP Address

, 2 Mar 2010
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Easy to track the geographical location based on IP Address

Table of Contents

Introduction

Developers are very much familiar with the use of IP tracking system, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET provides a number of class, methods to do this. This article is not about getting the user IP only, but also finds the geographical location of a user who is browsing your ASP.NET application. For example, you have an ASP.NET application, your hosting is done, your web address is suppose ”www.xyz.com”, now you want to track / maintain a log of the visitors IP with the location something like:

IP: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX, TIMESTAMP: 3/2/2010 4:18:39 PM, COUNTRY= BANGLADESH, 
COUNTRY CODE= BD, CITY= DHAKA, etc.

Sample output figure:

Quick Overview

Before we start, we need to know some basic knowledge, on System.Net, System.Data namespace provide by Microsoft Visual Studio .Net, HTTP Server variables.

More information can be found at this link.

How to Achieve

If you search for the solution on the internet; you may get many ways to do it. For example, you can use web service or download database containing the location mapped with the IP, but most of them are not free to use / allow you to a very limited number of hits per day… I found some sites that allow you free access for getting the user location from IP, some of the site(s) are listed below:

Note: All the above listed addresses reply in standard XML format.

How to Use the Services

In this section, I would like to discuss how to use the site(s) to retrieve a user geographical location. You can choose any one of them, before that you need to know what are the parameters required, let's start one by one:

(i)http://freegeoip.appspot.com

Parameter: IP Address (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx).
URL sample: http://freegeoip.appspot.com/xml/xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Output: Standard XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Response>
    <Status>true</Status>
    <Ip>xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx</Ip>
    <CountryCode>BD</CountryCode>
    <CountryName>Bangladesh</CountryName>
    <RegionCode>81</RegionCode>
    <RegionName>Dhaka</RegionName>
    <City>Dhaka</City>
    <ZipCode></ZipCode>
    <Latitude>23.723</Latitude>
    <Longitude>90.4086</Longitude>
</Response>
(ii)http://ws.cdyne.com/
  • Parameter: IP Address (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) & License Key
  • URL sample: http://ws.cdyne.com/ip2geo/ip2geo.asmx/ResolveIP?ipAddress=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx&licenseKey=0
  • Output: Standard XML
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<IPInformation xmlns:xsi=http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance 
	xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns="http://ws.cdyne.com/">
  <City>Dhaka</City>
  <StateProvince>81</StateProvince>
  <Country>Bangladesh</Country>
  <Organization />
  <Latitude>23.72301</Latitude>
  <Longitude>90.4086</Longitude>
  <AreaCode>0</AreaCode>
  <TimeZone />
  <HasDaylightSavings>false</HasDaylightSavings>
  <Certainty>90</Certainty>
  <RegionName />
  <CountryCode>BD</CountryCode>
</IPInformation>

Blocks of code should be set as style "Formatted" like this:

(iii)http://ipinfodb.com/
  • Parameter: IP Address (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx)
  • URL sample:http://ipinfodb.com/ip_query.php?ip=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx0
  • Output: Standard XML
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Response>
  <Ip>xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx</Ip>
  <Status>OK</Status>
  <CountryCode>BD</CountryCode>
  <CountryName>Bangladesh</CountryName>
  <RegionCode>81</RegionCode>
  <RegionName>Dhaka</RegionName>
  <City>Dhaka</City>
  <ZipPostalCode></ZipPostalCode>
  <Latitude>23.7231</Latitude>
  <Longitude>90.4086</Longitude>
  <Timezone>6</Timezone>
  <Gmtoffset>6</Gmtoffset>
  <Dstoffset>6</Dstoffset>
</Response>

Get the User IP

I use a very common technique. Actually this is nothing but the using of HTTP server variables. The following server variables are used for this purpose.

  • HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR
  • REMOTE_ADDR

A sample code snippet is given below:

private string GetVisitor()
    {        
        string strIPAddress = string.Empty;
        string strVisitorCountry = string.Empty;

        strIPAddress = Request.ServerVariables["HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR"];

        if (strIPAddress == "" || strIPAddress == null)
            strIPAddress = Request.ServerVariables["REMOTE_ADDR"];

        Tools.GetLocation.IVisitorsGeographicalLocation _objLocation;
        _objLocation = new Tools.GetLocation.ClsVisitorsGeographicalLocation();

        DataTable _objDataTable = _objLocation.GetLocation(strIPAddress);

        if (_objDataTable != null)
        {
            if (_objDataTable.Rows.Count > 0)
            {
                strVisitorCountry = 
                            "IP: "
                            + strIPAddress
                            + ", TIMESTAMP: " 
                            + Convert.ToString(System.DateTime.Now)     
                            + ", CITY: "
                            + Convert.ToString(_objDataTable.Rows[0]["City"]).ToUpper()
                            + ", COUNTRY: "
                            + Convert.ToString(_objDataTable.Rows[0]
					["CountryName"]).ToUpper()
                            + ", COUNTRY CODE: "
                            + Convert.ToString(_objDataTable.Rows[0]
					["CountryCode"]).ToUpper();
            }
            else
            {
                strVisitorCountry = null;
            }
        }
        return strVisitorCountry;
    }

Get the User Location

To get the location, you just need to use the following provided by Microsoft Visual Studio .NET:

  • WebRequest
  • WebResponse
  • WebProxy

More information can be found at this link.

A sample code snippet is given below:

public DataTable GetLocation(string strIPAddress)
        {
            //Create a WebRequest with the current Ip
            WebRequest _objWebRequest =
                WebRequest.Create(http://freegeoip.appspot.com/xml/ 
		//http://ipinfodb.com/ip_query.php?ip=
                               + strIPAddress);
            //Create a Web Proxy
            WebProxy _objWebProxy =
               new WebProxy("http://freegeoip.appspot.com/xml/"
                         + strIPAddress, true);

            //Assign the proxy to the WebRequest
            _objWebRequest.Proxy = _objWebProxy;

            //Set the timeout in Seconds for the WebRequest
            _objWebRequest.Timeout = 2000;

            try
            {
                //Get the WebResponse 
                WebResponse _objWebResponse = _objWebRequest.GetResponse();
                //Read the Response in a XMLTextReader
                XmlTextReader _objXmlTextReader
                    = new XmlTextReader(_objWebResponse.GetResponseStream());

                //Create a new DataSet
                DataSet _objDataSet = new DataSet();
                //Read the Response into the DataSet
                _objDataSet.ReadXml(_objXmlTextReader);

                return _objDataSet.Tables[0];
            }
            catch
            {
                return null;
            }
        } // End of GetLocation		 

Conclusion

I hope this might be helpful to you! Enjoy.

References

  • MSDN

History

  • 2nd March, 2010: Initial post

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Md. Marufuzzaman
CEO
Bangladesh Bangladesh
A highly experienced leader with successful track record of brand management, product innovations and corporate communication. Some successful product innovations have also achieved and awards “Most Valuable Professional” (MVP) at 2010 and 2011 by CodeProject.com and also selected as a mentor of CodeProject.com. Published over 100 technical articles in various software development resource sites (i.e,CodeProjetc.com, Microsoft, IEEE & IBM -In progress) and verious IT Forums, Blogs as well.
 
Over ten years of professional experiences in ICT field having extensive experience in formulating corporate vision and long term strategy. Leading development related functions including design, services, data management and analytics, customer experience management, content services, digital analytics and optimization.
 
An individual with results-driven approach and relentless in pursuit of excellence from a business and organizational standpoint. Believes in transparency, commitment and teamwork.
 
Specialties: Developing client-server with multi-tier application, database design, web based business software solutions, enterprise applications, google analytics, etc., for Windows / Mac using Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySql, PS, Visual C#, R, VB.NET, ASP.NET, PHP, API, MVC, WebAPI , Add-In Visual Basic etc,. I have also more than two years’ of strong experience in mobile-VAS (platform development).
 
Points of Interest: Research and development where technologies used in business research areas, including (few stuff):
 
1. Urban and rural sectors to improve people’s lifestyle, better medical facilities, education, social business etc.
2. Biometric device integration with several platforms.
3. Social security services.
4. Eager to work with new technology.
5. etc.
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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmembervinayakJJ14-Aug-13 1:24 
GeneralIts not working now, saying remote server not found,please update code. PinmemberPunit Belani25-Jul-13 20:34 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembercsharpbd22-Nov-12 19:50 
QuestionResult of this Project Pinmemberjsjsjsjsjsjsjsjsjsjs19-Aug-12 7:43 
AnswerRe: Result of this Project PinmentorMd. Marufuzzaman10-Sep-12 19:46 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembertanweer akhtar1-Jul-12 18:54 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmentorMd. Marufuzzaman10-Sep-12 19:44 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMd. Humayun Rashed4-Apr-12 23:09 
GeneralTrust is really not an issue but this idea would be great if my compiled and published webpage returned the right location PinmemberRedDK25-May-11 9:05 
GeneralRe: Trust is really not an issue but this idea would be great if my compiled and published webpage returned the right location PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman25-May-11 9:30 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberRoger Wright24-Mar-11 8:51 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman25-May-11 9:36 
Generalnice - have 5 PinmemberPranay Rana2-Jan-11 19:08 
GeneralRe: nice - have 5 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman5-Oct-11 22:53 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberTasnia.Maruf20-Sep-10 0:19 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman1-Oct-10 18:16 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberPanagiotisG8-Mar-10 22:42 
GeneralYour vote of 1 is improper and should be removed PinmemberDennis Dykstra10-Mar-10 5:27 
GeneralRe: Your vote of 1 is improper and should be removed PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman10-Mar-10 6:02 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberRoger Wright24-Mar-11 8:51 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pinmemberjohny101519815-Jan-12 14:14 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman5-Jan-12 18:55 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberJohnMcPherson12-Mar-10 9:34 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman2-Mar-10 18:28 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pinmemberjohny101519815-Jan-12 14:15 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman5-Jan-12 18:54 
GeneralDon't trust it PinmvpPIEBALDconsult2-Mar-10 4:33 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberCorey Fournier2-Mar-10 5:31 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmvpPIEBALDconsult2-Mar-10 7:28 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberPaw Jershauge2-Mar-10 11:09 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmvpPIEBALDconsult2-Mar-10 13:27 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberPaw Jershauge3-Mar-10 5:43 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberRedDK25-May-11 9:02 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman25-May-11 9:35 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman2-Mar-10 18:30 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberRoger Wright24-Mar-11 8:55 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmemberMike Marynowski8-Mar-10 19:57 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman8-Mar-10 20:59 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it (but a test run against a large IP address database shows that it's pretty good) PinmemberDennis Dykstra10-Mar-10 5:43 
GeneralRe: Don't trust it (but a test run against a large IP address database shows that it's pretty good) PinmvpMd. Marufuzzaman10-Mar-10 6:06 

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