Why traceroute to a given host instead of just converting that host directly to a location?
Converting a single host to a location is actually harder than using traceroute to find the location. As an example, if you’re dialing up from a local ISP, your IP address maybe “dialup-17.somelocalisp.net”. Unless that local ISP is in my list of patterns (which it’s usually not), there’s no way to convert that address to a location. On the other hand, if a traceroute to your IP address shows the penultimate step as “dca0.iad3.verio.net”, it’s pretty easy to see that machine is in Washington DC (both DCA and IAD are airport codes for airports in Washington DC). Verio.net is included in my list of patterns because it’s a major provider. From this, I can guess you’re in Washington DC as well. This isn’t always accurate, but it’s more accurate than trying to convert just your IP address with no additional information. 1.6. What about DNS LOC (RFC 1876)? DNS-LOC is an addition to the DNS protocol that lets machines provide their physical location (latitude and longitude) as part of the DNS