DNS Encoding of Geographical Location (RFC1712)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
C. Farrell: AUTHOR [+3]
This document defines the format of a new Resource Record (RR) for the Domain Naming System (DNS), and reserves a corresponding DNS type mnemonic and numerical code. This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group C. Farrell Request for Comments: 1712 M. Schulze Category: Experimental S. Pleitner D. Baldoni Curtin University of Technology November 1994
DNS Encoding of Geographical Location
Status of this Memo
This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This document defines the format of a new Resource Record (RR) for the Domain Naming System (DNS), and reserves a corresponding DNS type mnemonic and numerical code. This definition deals with associating geographical host location mappings to host names within a domain. The data shown in this document is fictitious and does not necessarily reflect the real Internet.
It has been a long standing problem to relate IP numbers to geographical locations. The availability of Geographical location information has immediate applications in network management. Such information can be used to supplement the data already provided by utilities such as whois [Har85], traceroute [VJ89], and nslookup [UCB89]. The usefulness and functionality of these already widely used tools would be greatly enhanced by the provision of reliable geographical location information.
The ideal way to manage and maintain a database of information, such as geographical location of internet hosts, is to delegate responsibility to local domain administrators. A large distributed database could be implemented with a simple mechanism for updating the local information. A query mechanism also has to be available for checking local entries, as well as inquiring about data from non-local domains.
Farrell, Schulze, Pleitner & Baldoni [Page 1]
RFC 1712 DNS Encoding of Geographical Location November 1994
The Internet continues to grow at an ever increasing rate with IP numbers allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Deciding when and how to setup a database of geographical information about internet hosts presented a number of options. The uumap project [UU85] was the first serious attempt to collect geographical location data from sites and store it centrally. This project met with limited success because of the difficulty in maintaining and updating a large central database. Another problem was the lack of tools for the checking the data supplied, this problem resulted in some erroneous data entering the database.
Using an SNMP get request on the sysLocation MIB (Management Information Base) variable was also an option, however this would require the host to be running an appropriate agent with public read access. It was also felt that MIB data should reflect local management data (e.g., "this" host is on level 5 room 74) rather than a hosts geographical position. This view is supported in the examples given in literature in this area [ROSE91].
The X.500 Directory service [X.500.88...