In theory, is it possible to locate an Internet-connected console? After all, Google Maps can find my computer's location. Can a console connected to the Internet be found in the same or a different way?
The best way to location a game device with WiFi would be using an API like Skyhook Wireless's:
Skyhook have their own database that maps WiFi SSID and MAC Address to a specific GPS (lat-lon) location. This is different and a lot more accurate than IP address location. Skyhook's system can be accurate to 5-50m in urban areas - which is really pretty good. Conversely, IP address geolocation should tell you the metropolitan area the user is in and not much more.
It can be possible if the console does not require to do connections through a network of the producer. Triangulation will never be accurate, as you can't measure distances. Using times from ping signals is also inaccurate due to unknown load of the network nodes, and the fact that your neighbor may has a higher ping then somebody outside of your country.
Google is using the Geolocation API (in wikipedia) to locate people.
The ways consoles can be located:
- If IP is known:
- average locating through ISP assigned to the IP address Range (e.g by using whois).
- inaccurate triangulation
- If access to hardware is possible (through software)
- request locations of present networks (as the Geolocation API does) on the internet
- ask the user, if you trust them
- using APIs provided by the manufacturer