IP addresses are not a perfect means to identify a physical location, but some services can provide accurate locations by aggregating different data points:
- Autonomous System Numbers (ASN) assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
- IP hierarchies from a Regional Internet Registry (RIR), National Internet Registry (NIR), or a Local Internet Registry (LIR)
- Internet Service Provider (ISP) IP information
- Named host and node details
- Self-reported information
These pieces of information are combined with other details that may be known, such as the physical address of a company office or data center, to provide reasonably accurate location details. However, it is very easy to fool such a system accidentally or intentionally. For example, if you update your Facebook status from the on-board WiFi on a Delta Airlines flight it will likely say that you are at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia as this is Delta's home base and the location most associated with the IP address of the plane or network you are on.