Net Tool Box - The Ultimate Mac Networking Utility

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What does it do?

The Internet is annoying: you cannot readily place any physical bearing on where people are. "Mapper" lets you see the geographical location, latitude and longitude of almost any routed IP address.

How does it work?

When a network is connected to the internet, it is usually allocated IP addresses by the carrier ISP. These addresses are distributed by one of three "NIC" organizations depending on the location of the network.
What Mapper does is queries a database called NetGeo which holds the geographical latitude and longitude of almost every city and town on the planet. This database gathers the network's information from the relevant NIC organization, then cross-references the response with the location database , leaving us with a latitude and longitude.
The map image is then downloaded from a dynamic mapping service called MultiMap that can show a detailed image of any place on earth given a set of coordinates.

How do I use it?

In Net Tool Box, click "Mapper" on the toolbar. In the Mapper window, type in the DNS or IP address of the target and click start. Providing you have a connection to the Internet, Mapper will resolve the IP address and display it next to the host you entered. It will then attempt a NetGeo lookup via the database at Caida. Once it has completed the lookup, it will display all the information received in the area above the map. If the coordinates found are valid, it will then connect to MultiMap and download the map.
To view the map at a different scale, change the "Scale" meter on the top right hand side of the window.
During the lookup / download process, the status of each stage is displayed on the status bar.
Once you have the NetGeo results on the screen, you can quickly scan / query the host / network with other tools by clicking the arrows next to "Net IP Block".

You will find that many European hosts are listed in Holland. This is not actually the case – it is an error with NetGeo in relation to the European IP authority, RIPE. The details returned in these cases are in fact the details of RIPE themselves. This error is due to inconsistencies in the RIPE database.

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© Charlie Boisseau 2005

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