[Air-l] netcraft question

Jeremy Hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Sun Jun 11 06:24:23 PDT 2006

I agree with alex on this.  if you are trying to find out the real  
location of a server, there is no way to get that information from  
the internet and be sure that the information is correct.   you can  
do a traceroute and usually find indications of location by looking  
at where the geographical identifiers end, but that doesn't always  
yield correct info either.   for instance there are vt.edu servers in  
blacksburg, and nova, but i suspect that there might be at least one  
elsewhere in the world, but www.vt.edu is in blacksburg.  however,  
many smaller colleges do not run their own web services, so i think  
it was haverford is actually running from the drexel system and  
swarthmore had some partnership with cornell for a few years, i'm  
pretty sure.   this example just goes to show that you have several  
layers of identity and location and they don't easily map.

if you want to know where indymedia servers are, just ask them.    
self-reporting might be more reliable.
On Jun 10, 2006, at 8:03 PM, Alex Halavais wrote:

> As earlier responses noted, locating servers is a shaky business, and
> even once you have, it's not clear why it matters in many cases. Until
> recently, my personal website had a server in Hong Kong (IP location)
> managed by a web host in Sofia, the name was registered to a Seattle
> address (whois record), by a Parisian registrar. The only piece of
> locational data in all that which was correct (Buffalo, at the time)
> was the ICBM tags on some of the pages. So, be sure you know what it
> is you are trying to locate, and if the server is really it.
> There are commercial databases of IP address geolocation. These are
> somewhat reliable, some of the time :). You might, for example, play
> with:
> http://www.geobytes.com/IpLocator.htm
> There is an effort at developing a free/open IP location database: not
> quite as complete (~50% correct!), but worth supporting. In fact, if
> AIR-L readers go and hit this database and check to make sure it
> correctly locates your IP address, it would take only a few seconds,
> and help to develop a great public resource:
> http://www.hostip.info
> - Alex
> --
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> // Alexander C. Halavais
> // Social Architect
> // http://alex.halavais.net
> //
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Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
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