Imagine you knew where you users were so you could plan better transport for them to meetings, or calculate the distance to nearest transport hubs when organising business trips? Perhaps it goes much deeper. Maybe you need to know how often they change, or, if they’re logging into your system from overseas (perhaps through a VPN?).
In China it’s not such a good idea to rely on Google to do this as the service is throttled and intermittently unresponsive… frustratingly unresponsive. Sina Weibo, the Twitter of China has GeoLocation based on IP’s as part of their API (http://open.weibo.com/wiki/Geocode/ip_to_geo). We can get this from a IP request:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<more>中国 北京 北京 电信通</more>
Now I need to see how good and accurate this on 500 users. I can accept a 10% deviation… and I’m actually wondering how close the latitude and longitude really is. If I can actually get it within 200m of a major exchange I’d be happy but something tells me things are not that organised :)