Resolving an IP Address to Location Using Maxmind

If you buy an item online, but don’t include your address in the order, then your effort is wasted as the object of your desire cannot find its way to you.  So it is with Internet Protocol (IP).  When a person visits a website, his request to the server contains an IP address – the destination to which the server’s response must be sent.

The trick of matching up a visitor’s IP address to an actual physical location is achieved through a third-party service.  FreeGeoIP is a popular one.  It exposes a free API that will return the latitude, longitude, city, and country of a visitor based on his IP address.  There is no need to be paranoid though: this service can only identify a city or country.

The data that FreeGeoip uses is a freely downloadable location database, which can be obtained from Maxmind.

For a bit of fun, here’s the best guess for your location, using the API.

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Mein Kampf: Royalties go to the Red Cross

Somebody I know with a love of old books owns a serialisation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, , .  The photograph shows the cover of one of the 18 instalments.  ‘Mein Kampf’ means ‘My Struggle’, and it is an autobiography of Adolf Hitler, first published in 1925.  In the book, he lays out his ideology and his vision for the future of Germany.

I was intrigued by this caption on the cover: ‘Royalties on all sales will go to the British Red Cross Society’.  I initially wondered why a respectable organisation like the British Red Cross might condone the regime in Germany.

In a contemporary review of the same translation, George Orwell stated that Hitler seemed to be respectable to many before the War:

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