Web application check list: geo data

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Things you would likely to check in your application. First story is about geo and localization features of your application.

  1. Detect browser languages, find the one your application supports and set it as your application’s current languages. If it’s not set, first auto-detect country (see below) and then use the country’s main language.
  2. Auto-detect country: first by IP (free database of countries IP addresses can be downloaded here), then by browser locale (en-US means it’s a USA user), then by auto-detected language (ru language gonna mean Russia. Yes, the user can be located in Ukraine or Belarus, not in Russia – but let’s face it, it’s much closer than nothing).
  3. On the grounds you’ve detected the country, you can preset the currency for the user.
  4. Save this data in user’s profile when he/she registers in your application. If your application cares about other languages the user can speak, you can parse the rest of browser languages and save them too.
  5. If entities of your application can be located on map, set geo meta tags to tell the search engines about place your entity is at. (success story). Find out more on geotagging at Wikipedia.

List of countries with a set of supported languages and default currency code for each one can be got from GeoNames (countries info dump).

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