RIPE IPmap Active Geolocation: Mechanism and Performance Evaluation

Ben Du, Massimo Candela, Bradley Huffaker, Alex C. Snoeren, kc claffy


RIPE IPmap is a multi-engine geolocation platform operated by the RIPE NCC. One of its engines, single-radius, uses active geolocation to infer the geographic coordinates of target IP addresses. In this paper, we first introduce the methodology of IPmap’s single-radius engine, then we evaluate its accuracy, coverage, and consistency, and compare its results with commercial geolocation databases. We found that 79.5% of single-radius results have city-level accuracy for our ground truth dataset, and 87.0% have city-level consistency or geolocating different interfaces on the same routers. On our coverage evaluation dataset of 26,559 core infrastructure IP addresses, single-radius provided geolocation inferences for 78.5% of them. We offer recommendations to improve the single-radius engine and IPmap platform in general. The main contributions of this paper are to introduce and evaluate the IPmap single-radius engine and to provide a generalized evaluation workflow applicable to historical and future geolocation techniques.

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