september 27 th
New York City 2017

understanding networks
#39 How far?

gif's alt tex

howFar is a node js application/script that provides the distance between the user and any website server.

The way it works is by geo-locating any website through its IP address and calculating the distance between these. It’s very simple.

This was an assignment of the understanding networks class and its purpose id to illustrate the distance that data physically travels every time you visit a website.

alt text me trying to filter information

To get all this information, I first tried to read out of the traceroute command but my end goal was to have the whole system in one command and one prompt. My skill level at this point is not as high as I would like it to be for this type of script, so instead of reading all the IP

const extIP = require('external-ip');
const dns = require('dns');
var where = require('node-where');
var geodist = require('geodist');

external-ip provides, the external IP of the system being used, then we have dns that hands out the IP of any URL you provide. After that we put in use node-where that has, between others the ability to translate an IP to a latitude and longitude. With this information geodist gets the distance between the two geographical points.

And that’s pretty much all that this script does. That would be the basics to get the information, but I wanted to be able to run the program and write any URL and get te distance. This is the reason for using prompt. After all that, just because I’m a graphic designer I had to make things look nice. So I used colors.

Not much more to be said about this, if you wanna try it out or play with it, go ahead! The code is available at my GitHub and you can play around with it. Just clone the repo and do npm install


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