Using Abstract IP Geolocation API with Python Flask
Flask is one of the most popular web application frameworks written in Python. It is a microframework designed for an easy way to build web services.
Let’s leverage the Flask framework to build the demo IP geolocation API. Internally it will make a call to the Abstract API to fetch the requisite geolocation details as required by a frontend HTML page.
Before starting, make sure to set up a development environment with the following prerequisites:
- Python 3
- Terminal CLI with administrator privileges
Step 1: Create Virtual Environment
Open the CLI with administrator privileges. Make a separate directory for your project using the mkdir command and change to that directory.
Within the directory, create the virtual environment for your project. Follow the python official documentation for creating and activating virtual environments. Before proceeding further, make sure to change the directory to the newly created virtual environment. This will be your project directory.
Step 2: Install Flask
Install Flask within the activated environment using pip:
Flask is installed automatically with all the dependencies.
You will need some other packages too, install them with
Step 3: Test your Development Environment
To test the newly installed Flask framework, build a simple Flask application by creating an empty python file, hello.py in the project directory.
Edit the file using a text editor and add the following code to make an API that prints "Hello world!".
Save the file and close it. Open a terminal and set the FLASK_APP environment variable.
For Mac and Linux:
On the same terminal run the application with the command flask run.
Copy and paste the address "http://127.0.0.1:5000" into the browser and notice what you see.
If you see the “Hello World” message on the webpage then this means that your Flask installation is working fine. You can kill the flask app by pressing Ctrl+C (PC) or Cmd+C (Mac) on the terminal.
We are now ready to write the actual code that performs IP Geolocation Query.
Step 4: Create the demo application code
For the demo application, you need two components, the backend API written in Python using Flask, and the frontend HTML UI.
Backend Code for Flask API
For the backend, create another file in the project directory and name it ip.py. Copy and paste the code below into this file.
This code implements two APIs, GET /geolocation and POST /fetch-geolocation. The former loads the frontend HTML page on the browser, whereas the latter calls the Abstract IP Geolocation API and returns the parameters. This code leverages the popular requests library in Python for triggering the IP Geolocation API.
Before saving the file, make sure to replace the placeholder <YOUR_API_KEY> with the API key assigned to your account by Abstract.
Frontend code for HTML
To add the frontend UI, first create a sub-directory under the project directory and name it “templates”.
Inside the “templates” subdirectory, create a file and name it index.html. Copy the code below inside this file.
This is a simple Bootstrap and JQuery-based webpage, which presents a form to the user to key in the IP address. Upon submitting the form, it triggers the POST /fetch-geolocation API to return and display the geolocation data in a table.
Step 5: Run the Demo Application
Now let's run the demo code. You need to open another terminal and update the environment to take into account the source file ip.py for the demo app.
For Mac and Linux:
Now run the command flask run to launch this demo application.
You can access the frontend web page via http://127.0.0.1:5000/gelocation
Enter a valid IP address and click on the “Submit: button. You should see the location details of this IP address in a few seconds.
As you just witnessed, it is easy to integrate Abstract IP Geolocation API with Python Flask. You can add more details in the frontend to show an exhaustive list of information for each IP address based on the API response.
We encourage you to modify the demo application to build more awesome apps by leveraging the Abstract API suite.
What is IP Geolocation
IP geolocation is the process of determining the physical location and Internet connection characteristics of a web visitor based on their IP address. It contains the latitude and longitude information of the IP address, and geopolitical information such as city, state, and country names. Using the Abstract IP Geolocation API, you can even get a connection and timezone-related information about the IP addresses’ location.
What information can be extracted from the IP Geolocation query?
The basic information returned by IP geolocation includes location, latitude and longitude, country flag, currency, and timezone. Additionally, using the Abstract IP Geolocation API, you can also fetch the type of Internet connection such as dial-up, cellular, or corporate network, along with ISP name and autonomous system number. This API also returns meta information related to location, such as timezone, and country flag.
How Do You Perform IP Geolocation Query Using Python?
You can perform an IP Geolocation query in Python Flask by using the Python requests library to trigger the Abstract IP Geolocation API. This API returns the latitude, and longitude coordinates of the IP address, along with other information such as city, state, and country names, ISP-related information, and timezone information.