Cisco recently released a report on Geolocation outlining the Visual Networking Index Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2015-2020. The forecast estimates that by 2020, half of the world’s population will have access to the Internet. Inevitably, this will also shape and modify global economies, how people access and trade goods, and how demand is identified and targeted.

Geolocation software is currently being used by a wide range of industries to gather data about financial trends. Primarily through the user’s IP address, Geolocation software gathers user information, determining user location (country, province, city, time zone, latitude and longitude). This information can then used to help improve online security, enhance user experience, and identify possible markets.

This practice is often referred to as “Geomarketing”, where geolocation software is used to detect customer demand and organize sales and distribution of goods. In Geomarketing, the data gathered from geolocation software serves to pinpoint and categorize regional trends. This in turn helps determine retail practices and customer needs. A common practice within the field also involves “Geo-fencing.” This is used to predefine geographical boundaries to in order to target user activity. Another such tactic involves Geolocation authentication, which stops unauthorized users from gaining access to restricted and copyrighted content.

Geolocation data will become increasingly valuable, and is already helping organizations personalize their approach to connect with different audiences around the world based on geographical areas. There are a few companies online that specialize in gathering Geolocation data. A prominent organization is IP Geolocation API, an American start-up that provides geolocation data for numerous major companies including IBM, Apple, eBay, Amazon, and various others.

Such companies use geolocation data to categorize and organize currencies and products, as well as protect online content by blocking access from selected geographical areas. It provides insight about market demographics, helping generate new markets and commercial trends. It also identifies risk, fraud, security breaches, and criminal activity online. As the use of the Internet continues to rise, there will be an increasing interest in geolocation data.

Bruno Lingas