A Format for Self-Published IP Geolocation Feeds
RFC 8805

Document Type RFC - Informational (August 2020; No errata)
Last updated 2020-08-06
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Independent Submission                                          E. Kline
Request for Comments: 8805                                      Loon LLC
Category: Informational                                        K. Duleba
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                   Google
                                                             Z. Szamonek
                                                                S. Moser
                                                 Google Switzerland GmbH
                                                               W. Kumari
                                                                  Google
                                                             August 2020

            A Format for Self-Published IP Geolocation Feeds

Abstract

   This document records a format whereby a network operator can publish
   a mapping of IP address prefixes to simplified geolocation
   information, colloquially termed a "geolocation feed".  Interested
   parties can poll and parse these feeds to update or merge with other
   geolocation data sources and procedures.  This format intentionally
   only allows specifying coarse-level location.

   Some technical organizations operating networks that move from one
   conference location to the next have already experimentally published
   small geolocation feeds.

   This document describes a currently deployed format.  At least one
   consumer (Google) has incorporated these feeds into a geolocation
   data pipeline, and a significant number of ISPs are using it to
   inform them where their prefixes should be geolocated.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any other
   RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at
   its discretion and makes no statement about its value for
   implementation or deployment.  Documents approved for publication by
   the RFC Editor are not candidates for any level of Internet Standard;
   see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8805.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
     1.1.  Motivation
     1.2.  Requirements Notation
     1.3.  Assumptions about Publication
   2.  Self-Published IP Geolocation Feeds
     2.1.  Specification
       2.1.1.  Geolocation Feed Individual Entry Fields
         2.1.1.1.  IP Prefix
         2.1.1.2.  Alpha2code (Previously: 'country')
         2.1.1.3.  Region
         2.1.1.4.  City
         2.1.1.5.  Postal Code
       2.1.2.  Prefixes with No Geolocation Information
       2.1.3.  Additional Parsing Requirements
     2.2.  Examples
   3.  Consuming Self-Published IP Geolocation Feeds
     3.1.  Feed Integrity
     3.2.  Verification of Authority
     3.3.  Verification of Accuracy
     3.4.  Refreshing Feed Information
   4.  Privacy Considerations
   5.  Relation to Other Work
   6.  Security Considerations
   7.  Planned Future Work
   8.  Finding Self-Published IP Geolocation Feeds
     8.1.  Ad Hoc 'Well-Known' URIs
     8.2.  Other Mechanisms
   9.  IANA Considerations
   10. References
     10.1.  Normative References
     10.2.  Informative References
   Appendix A.  Sample Python Validation Code
   Acknowledgements
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

1.1.  Motivation

   Providers of services over the Internet have grown to depend on best-
   effort geolocation information to improve the user experience.
   Locality information can aid in directing traffic to the nearest
   serving location, inferring likely native language, and providing
   additional context for services involving search queries.

   When an ISP, for example, changes the location where an IP prefix is
   deployed, services that make use of geolocation information may begin
   to suffer degraded performance.  This can lead to customer
   complaints, possibly to the ISP directly.  Dissemination of correct
   geolocation data is complicated by the lack of any centralized means
   to coordinate and communicate geolocation information to all
   interested consumers of the data.

   This document records a format whereby a network operator (an ISP, an
   enterprise, or any organization that deems the geolocation of its IP
   prefixes to be of concern) can publish a mapping of IP address
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