Go to City-Data.com

…and scroll down until you see the search window, wherein you can input the city you want to lean more about.

When I access that page, underneath the window is the sentence “For example, see Springfield, Illinois detailed profile.”

Either Springfield is the default example, or it’s offering Springfield as an example because their server reads my I.P. address as coming from Springfield.

So someone from a city other than Springfield, please log on and tell me what it offers as an example, so I can stop losing sleep about this.


You mean the field with the “Find City” button next to it? I don’t get a for example at all. This appears below:

"Or browse by state (first link for each state is for cities with over 6000 residents, second is for smaller towns): "

When I go there, I see Richmond, VA. This is not surprising. The site is obviously using data from your IP address to generate location-specific data. But, relax. That’s about as close as it can target you; and even that may not be entirely accurate, depending on the location of your ISP.

Probably because your IP is not from within the US.

USing my satellite ISP, I am given no example. Using dial up from Little Rock, AR, I am given the example of Dallas.

I get the city not where I live, but the one next to mine.


I get a link to Midlothian, TX which is the home of my ISP. When I click the link, there are 3 photos of the cement kilns near the city blowing out potentially toxic smoke (they have a license to burn toxic materials in their kilns - a point of much contention amongst the downwind residents). I guess this pretty much shows that city-data is not just a shill for the cities it profiles.

Somewhat curious - it handed me San Rafael, CA. Usually, things mapping my IP hand me Santa Rosa, which is indeed the location of my ISP, and about 30 mi from San Rafael. To compare, you can enter your IP into a locator site like this one:


That tells me Santa Rosa.

Wow, Midlothian. For some reason, back in High School we kids in Mansfield used to refer to you as “Middle Ethiopia.” I never did figure out what the joke was supposed to be.

Oh wait, you’re in Venus. Sorry. You guys have the Internet out there? :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway. [/hijack]


Just to add to the chorus, I got Columbus, Ohio. That isn’t too far from me (well, an hour and a half or so) but I think that is where the work internet ISP is.

Brendon Small

I get Germantown, Maryland. Am I the only one who actually gets the town they live in on this site?

No, I get mine, too.

I get no default. The Cloaking Device is working perfectly, Captain.

I get Mountain View, CA. From New Jersey… and Comcast’s HQ is in Pennsylvania…

From work I get a nearby city, Jacksonville, AR.

Mine correctly says Kapaa, HI.

It suggests nothing for me (I get the same line Frank describes).

That Geobytes.com website comes back with Ellsworth, which is nearly three hours away, but at least it got the state.

Another small town they accurately pegged. Though “small town” is relative, here: We’re the biggest thing in a hundred miles.

Looking up your ISP’s address based on DNS records is the easy thing to do.

There are some other commercially available services which attempt to maintain databases of finer grained information gleaned from sites which asked users to input their physical location. They can then make guesses for a given IP based on the volunteered information for similar IPs.

One such service is here:

Their own description of how it works:

I wonder how many sites are providing them with IP / postal address pairs. Do online retailers sell billing address / IP combinations to outfits like this?

Is this the same way those girls can hold up signs that say “We’re looking for hot lovin’ in Charlotte!”?