The “How” and “Why” of Geolocation Services
Geolocation services have been taking the business world by storm. Geolocation services, simply put, is the collection of geographical information obtained through an IP address and other sources. An IP address is a unique set of numbers given to each computer or mobile device in order to identify them from each other over the internet and to communicate information with each other. Each IP address can be assigned to a geographical location – however it is important to remember that this information is not embedded in your IP address, therefore people require third party databases in order to fully utilize geolocation services. This would refer to other sources of geographical information which may include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and actual user inputs that are processed by the API (Application Programmers Interface) such as websites which are set up in a particular way to retrieve the needed information.
An API is thus a set of programming tools supplied by a product vendor, to allow programmers to interface with their services. In simple terms, an API is an interface used by developers to talk to other software applications. The API works by implementing a call to a geolocation service – the user input as mentioned above- such as Info Sniper, which then retrieves the IP address for you. The service then returns the geographic location to the API in XML format. The data accessed in XML format includes detailed information such as geographic location, area code, postal code, internet service provider and time zone. This is available through the purchase of “query credits” through an API for geolocation services such as Connectica or Info Sniper, which sources and detects the device location.
Query credits control how much information you can access depending on how much you have paid. All requests are equal, and the more you pay, the more requests you can make. For e.g., 50 000 queries may cost you $25, and 100 000 may cost you $50. The more you pay, the more queries you can make. Once your queries are up, you would have to repurchase the fixed number of queries for the fixed price once again, and so forth.
Connectica offers a geolocation service that is non-intrusive: meaning no other private information from a user’s computer is accessed, except for geographical data. Geolocation service providers may also offer what is known as “scripts”, which puts your data into presentable and useful format such as tabled statistics, or world maps indicating your specific user information/locations, making it convenient for you to put the information to use.
There are thus many benefits and uses to utilizing geolocation services. As a business, you are able to initiate geo-centric advertising because you have information of where many of your clients are coming from – location wise and in terms of time zones and service providers. You are also able to pick up whether you have regular/loyal clients by seeking out common IP addresses, or how often the same IP address may appear. You may find clusters coming from certain areas and can then use that information to appeal to those specific clients through your advertising and products. You can also welcome clients with personalized messages in relation to their location, or offer them a web page translation in the language most often spoken in their particular region, making it more convenient to use your website.
Geolocation services have definitely changed the world of marketing and advertising in a big way, allowing for a more personal, targeted strategy to be used that was never available before. If you want to find out more about how you can use geolocation services for your business, contact us to today to help you get set up!
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