How does Last.fm decide the geographic location of a scrobble?

 
  • How does Last.fm decide the geographic location of a scrobble?

    I'm writing an academic paper based on data that I've gathered through the last.fm API. The data I'm most interested comes from the charts for each metropolitan area. In the paper I want to mention how last.fm determines the location of a scrobble---I can't find this anywhere. I assume that last.fm is just geo-coding the ip address of the scrobbler. Can anyone confirm this?

    • tburny schrieb...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 9. Feb. 2012, 7:58
    Where are geolocations on scrobbles? :)

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    • snyde1 schrieb...
    • Abonnent
    • 10. Feb. 2012, 3:53
    See 3 location-based information. This seems to imply that they're not geocoding the IP address, just using personally supplied information.

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  • An answer from lastfm please

    @tburny. You're right: in the api there isn't a way of associating a particular scrobble with a geographic location. But lastfm must do this somehow in order to make the geo api work.

    @snyde1: Thanks for pointing that out. The relevant section reads:
    We keep track of the domains from which people visit Last.fm, but we cannot see a user’s zip code, post code, city or country unless the user chooses to explicitly provide this information to us.

    However that is ambiguous. They say they keep track of "domains," which I suppose means ip addresses (or at least part of ip addresses). That information does not guarantee that lastfm knows a users zip code, etc. But they can with high confidence infer where the user is at the moment of scrobbling by geo-coding the domain.

    Can I get a straight answer from last.fm: is lastfm geo-coding the domains of users and does that information make its way into the geo API? It's a direct and simple enough question.

    Bearbeitet von conradicallee am 23. Apr. 2012, 12:42
    • ben-xo schrieb...
    • Last.fm-Team
    • 23. Apr. 2012, 11:43
    Hi conradicallee,

    I believe that the sets of scrobbles considered for the metro and country charts are the sets of scrobbles by all users who have chosen their location preference to be within that metro or country.

    Of course it would be possible in theory to geocode the scrobble submissions; we use geocoding of IP addresses in many other contexts, but it is not currently the basis of the charts.

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  • Thanks for the response ben-xo. I'm just surprised by that because the numbers in the lastfm.geo city charts api are quite high, and I imagine that only a minority of users type in their home city. But I'll take your word for it.

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