after a lengthy hiatus we finally restart our “Tools we Use” series here on the blog, in which we give a peek behind the current at some of the tools and technologies we use to build the OpenCage Geocoder. Today we look at IP address to location service ipinfo.
Last week we went live with a new feature - when you visit our pricing page we now default the pricing to the currency of the country you are in (assuming you are in a country that uses one of the nine currencies we support, if not we default to US Dollars).
Here’s a screenshot of what I see when I visit the page from Barcelona, in Spain*. Note that the prices are shown in Euro.
To do this we use the IP address to location API provided by ipinfo.
It’s not the biggest feature, but it is yet another great example of a tiny feature that makes life easier for our customers. There are several IP address to location services out there.
We particularly liked ipinfo for a few reasons:
- The API interface was easy to understand and simple to implement.
- The service is well documented with good code examples.
- Great story behind the service, as shared in an interview on GET PUT POST.
- The pricing is fair.
For our needs - determining a visitor’s country - ipinfo was the perfect solution.
As always though, when we evaluate a tool we use we like to close with a few suggestions for improvement:
- I am not sure how accurate ipinfo is once you go beyond the country level. In my case it shows me as being in Andalusia in southern Spain. I am not. That said, I can imagine this is a very tough problem to solve as all depends on having and maintaining the data mapping ip addresses to locations. Trust me when I say I can sympathise with the problems around bad location data. There are companies that offer well maintained datasets, but at a significantly higher price point.
- While ipinfo does offer coding examples in a few programming languages they could do with a few more (not least Perl!)
- Not to be too meta in this post, but why offer pricing only in USD?
Beyond that, frankly it is hard to criticise. This is a great service that is “good enough” for the task we need it for. As a geocoding service ourselves we occasionally get asked about IP address to location geocoding and are happy to recommend ipinfo. Give them a look.
Final point - if we currently don’t support your currency on oour pricing page please let us know and we can look to add whatever currency you need.
* Possibly Republic of Catalonia at the time you are reading this. Unclear.