Internet-Based Measurement

M. Dodge, M. Zook

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Internet-based measurement is a set of methods applied to quantitatively describe the structure, workload, and use of the Internet. They provide a practical means of doing a kind of virtual ‘fieldwork’ on the Internet using online tools and network monitoring techniques to gather fine-scale primary data. Internet-based measurement as a methodology for human geography is important because it (1) provides insight to the underlying structural processes of the Internet and Internet-based activities; (2) allows users to explore and analyze the Internet for themselves; and (3) allows researchers to aggregate data spread across multiple websites to analyze offline phenomenon. After outlining the five distinct kinds of geographical locations associated with an Internet-based resource (lexical, hardware, production, ownership, and use), this article outlines a range of tools and techniques for exploring these geographies. These include IP address geo-coding, domain name whois lookups, website rankings, ping, and traceroute. These tools can provide an understanding of the topological structures and geographies of the Internet, and allows users to construct information firsthand and critically question network operations directly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-12
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Domain name
  • Internet
  • IP address
  • Network
  • Ping
  • Traceroute
  • Whois
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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