Determining Location

13 Apr 2007 - 2:47pm
7 years ago
6 replies
1086 reads
jstrande
2007

We have several features on our site that are location dependent -- as one
example, we only sell certain products in certain regions. Currently, we ask
people to click on a region in a world map.

We're currently looking at MaxMind:

http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_my_ip

(was that accurate for you?)

We aren't thinking of relying solely on the results of that in every
context, just trying to make some smarter display decisions.

Two questions:

1.) Does anyone have any experience using any of these services??
ip2location? Maxmind? Others? Is your experience positive/negative?

2.) Does anyone have any thoughts about the perception issue - like Big
Brother, knowing where people are? Anything you did to get around it??

Okay, that was more than two questions... ;-)

Thank you in advance!

Jon

Comments

13 Apr 2007 - 3:10pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I've used this in application development and I would suggest that you
should just be sure to allow people to let you know their "relative"
location as different from their current location.

I.e. when I visit my family in Israel, I'm forced to use google.co.il
which defaults to hebrew, even though I'm a USer and even though I'm
using MY computer over my brother's network. There is no easy way to
switch to google.com.

yahoo uses this to throw at you regionally appropriate advertising. Suckers!

I think if you are polite about it in your language and offer people
and easy chance/way to change their relative or personally
contextualized location instead of literal location then I think you'd
be fine.

If there is a preferences area for account holders, then you can have
people put their geo-info in there instead of deriving it every time.

-- dave

On 4/13/07, Jon Strande <jstrande at gmail.com> wrote:
> We have several features on our site that are location dependent -- as one
> example, we only sell certain products in certain regions. Currently, we ask
> people to click on a region in a world map.
>
> We're currently looking at MaxMind:
>
> http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_my_ip
>
> (was that accurate for you?)
>
> We aren't thinking of relying solely on the results of that in every
> context, just trying to make some smarter display decisions.
>
> Two questions:
>
> 1.) Does anyone have any experience using any of these services??
> ip2location? Maxmind? Others? Is your experience positive/negative?
>
> 2.) Does anyone have any thoughts about the perception issue - like Big
> Brother, knowing where people are? Anything you did to get around it??
>
> Okay, that was more than two questions... ;-)
>
> Thank you in advance!
>
> Jon
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

13 Apr 2007 - 4:32pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Yahoo does even worse. It uses language settings to determine
location, which is why I keep getting ads thought up in France, for
Frenchmen living in France even though I'm always in North America. I
find some of them absolutely grotesque or even gross, because the
Parisian sense of humor is different from ours. So I'm often
psychologically assaulted everytime I go do my Yahoo mail. Thank you
Yahoo! If it weren't for the fact that I've been using Yahoo mail for
nearly ten years as my principal email I'd ditch you right now. One
more reason to let people chose their "relative" location.

Alain Vaillancourt

--- David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> a écrit :

> I've used this in application development and I would suggest that
> you should just be sure to allow people to let you know their
"relative" location as different from their current location.
yahoo uses this to throw at you regionally appropriate advertising.
> Suckers!
>

13 Apr 2007 - 4:52pm
Josh
2006

Automatically determining location is problematic, but can probably done in
such a way as to minimize the situations Alain and David have run into.

* Don't change key user interaction points based on assumptions, and
definitely don't stop users from changing location preferences.
* Use what you KNOW about the user, if this means that you need to ask, then
ask.
* If you do make assumptions, check your click-through/conversion rates
based on those assumptions as compared to the pre-assumption rates and see
if it works better.

--
Josh Viney
EastMedia Group
http://www.eastmedia.com

13 Apr 2007 - 6:34pm
jstrande
2007

Robert, thank you for the accuracy check! I'll be sure to post an update as
we proceed.

David, great points. We do let people specify their location and if they
select a region once, we keep that information and use it everywhere
possible - also giving them the opportunity to change their location... we
could actually do a better job of hightlighting that ability, I'm not sure
it is clear enough today. That will be even more of an issue if we try to
automatically determine and set location.

Alain, yeah, we let people change their language - and keep that setting -
but we don't use language to determine region... lots of issues with that,
as you can attest.

Josh, great points, especially the 2nd, use what you KNOW... and I really
like the idea of testing the assumptions.

Thank you for all the great comments!! I really appreciate it!

Jon

On 4/13/07, Josh Viney <jviney at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Automatically determining location is problematic, but can probably done
> in
> such a way as to minimize the situations Alain and David have run into.
>
> * Don't change key user interaction points based on assumptions, and
> definitely don't stop users from changing location preferences.
> * Use what you KNOW about the user, if this means that you need to ask,
> then
> ask.
> * If you do make assumptions, check your click-through/conversion rates
> based on those assumptions as compared to the pre-assumption rates and
> see
> if it works better.
>
> --
> Josh Viney
> EastMedia Group
> http://www.eastmedia.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

15 Apr 2007 - 1:20pm
John Raisch
2006

Jon,

I recently looked at most of the vendors out there in the ip geo-loco
space -- the ones you mention plus Quova and Digital Element. We looked
at MaxMind but ended up going with another vendor.

We just launched a redesigned Ace Hardware with a super-charged store
locator with google map mashup. If geo-loco kicks in, the homepage has a
"soft message" about stores in your area. Upon clicking in, we then
render a google map with stores in a 30 mile radius. This was our
solution after considering...

1. the "perceived" big brother/privacy issues
2. the generic constraints of the geo-loco technology (across all
vendors)

In this application, we never say exactly X - YOU ARE HERE. Most vendors
say they are "accurate" 85 to 90% of times within a 20 to 30 mile
radius. Think of this data point as an analogy of shooting darts.

Definitely worth a look.

http://www.acehardware.com

I'd be happy to discuss more offine if you want.

John Raisch
Director, UX Lead, GSI Commerce
610 491-7253

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Jon
Strande
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 3:47 PM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Determining Location

We have several features on our site that are location dependent -- as
one
example, we only sell certain products in certain regions. Currently, we
ask
people to click on a region in a world map.

We're currently looking at MaxMind:

http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_my_ip

(was that accurate for you?)

We aren't thinking of relying solely on the results of that in every
context, just trying to make some smarter display decisions.

Two questions:

1.) Does anyone have any experience using any of these services??
ip2location? Maxmind? Others? Is your experience positive/negative?

2.) Does anyone have any thoughts about the perception issue - like Big
Brother, knowing where people are? Anything you did to get around it??

Okay, that was more than two questions... ;-)

Thank you in advance!

Jon
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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15 Apr 2007 - 6:02pm
jstrande
2007

John, Thank you so much for the detail - I really dig your implementation
of the Stores in your area, that is really good.

Yoram, yeah, we'll have to make sure that we give people a graceful "out" if
we don't get the location correct.

Thank you both!

Jon

On 4/15/07, John Raisch <RaischJ at gsicommerce.com> wrote:
>
> Jon,
>
> I recently looked at most of the vendors out there in the ip geo-loco
> space -- the ones you mention plus Quova and Digital Element. We looked
> at MaxMind but ended up going with another vendor.
>
> We just launched a redesigned Ace Hardware with a super-charged store
> locator with google map mashup. If geo-loco kicks in, the homepage has a
> "soft message" about stores in your area. Upon clicking in, we then
> render a google map with stores in a 30 mile radius. This was our
> solution after considering...
>
> 1. the "perceived" big brother/privacy issues
> 2. the generic constraints of the geo-loco technology (across all
> vendors)
>
> In this application, we never say exactly X - YOU ARE HERE. Most vendors
> say they are "accurate" 85 to 90% of times within a 20 to 30 mile
> radius. Think of this data point as an analogy of shooting darts.
>
> Definitely worth a look.
>
> http://www.acehardware.com
>
> I'd be happy to discuss more offine if you want.
>
> John Raisch
> Director, UX Lead, GSI Commerce
> 610 491-7253
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Jon
> Strande
> Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 3:47 PM
> To: IxDA Discuss
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Determining Location
>
> We have several features on our site that are location dependent -- as
> one
> example, we only sell certain products in certain regions. Currently, we
> ask
> people to click on a region in a world map.
>
> We're currently looking at MaxMind:
>
> http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_my_ip
>
> (was that accurate for you?)
>
> We aren't thinking of relying solely on the results of that in every
> context, just trying to make some smarter display decisions.
>
> Two questions:
>
> 1.) Does anyone have any experience using any of these services??
> ip2location? Maxmind? Others? Is your experience positive/negative?
>
> 2.) Does anyone have any thoughts about the perception issue - like Big
> Brother, knowing where people are? Anything you did to get around it??
>
> Okay, that was more than two questions... ;-)
>
> Thank you in advance!
>
> Jon
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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