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experimental geo-ip-statistics

Since the beginning of September, we’ve been creating experimental GeoIP-statistics to see where the users of ftp.fau.de come from. We’re drawing nice maps from the results. You can find these stats from our general ftp statistics page – for days where GeoIP-stats are available, you will find a link to them at the bottom of the page. Here is an example:

geoipstats-ftp.fau.de-20141229-worldmap

As you can see, unsurprisingly most of our users come from Germany. Besides the map there is also a table that show the respective percentages per country – in the map above, Germany accounts for about 50 percent of all accesses. Note that is counting the number of bytes transferred, not the number of accesses.

We also have a map from the stats per Bundesland within Germany:

geoipstats-ftp.fau.de-20141229-germany

However, this second map is really mostly guesswork for a number of technical reasons:

  • To do the actual dirty mapping work, we’re using GeoLite data created by MaxMind, available from http://www.maxmind.com. This is a free-to-use version of their commercial GeoIP-database, and since they need to make a living from their database, the free version is of course less accurate than the version available to their paying customers. It just returns “unknown” for the Bundesland in roughly about 30% of all cases.
  • Due to technical limitations on our side, we’re currently using a rather dusted version of the geoip-mapping library, that for example still has problems mapping IPv6 addresses (although it works sometimes). The quality of the mappings should improve significantly after we update to their current version in the first half of 2015.
  • Our logs are normally anonymized, i.e. we do not store the full IP address of a client, but trim (at least) the last octet of an IPv4 IP. This further reduces mapping quality.

Still, we do think it is a rather interesting experiment. While we were expecting most of our users to be from Germany, we found the actual percentage suprisingly high – we had expected some more usage from other european countries.

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