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The Research Desk: Data Thefts, Geolocators, Map Compare, & More

sketch garyI’m back with another selection of new and favorite web resources and research tools. Here’s this week’s roundup:

Data Security and Privacy—Statistics

2014: Year of Megabreaches and Data Theft (16 pages; PDF)
This data-rich report published by Gemalto, a tech security firm, received some press attention last week. The report includes a list of major data breaches, a look at breaches by geographic region, breakdown by industry, and more. For new data as it becomes available, take a look at,  maintained by the same people who published the report. as well as DataLossDB are two related data breach.jpngresources you might find useful.


The International Bureau at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently published the Fourth International Broadband Data Report (2015). This massive report available online is loaded with information and statistical data about broadband access and service around the world. Data files are available in .xls, .pdf, and .doc formats.

Fourth International Broadband Data Report

Research Reports

The House of Commons Library in the UK publishes research reports on a variety of topics. All of the reports are available as PDF files and are free to access and download. Here’s a recent selection:


Most Internet IP addresses have a physical location associated with them. This is known as geolocation. How do you determine where an address is located? There are many databases that can help and I’ve found using more than one is often a good idea.

geolocationOf course, sometimes these databases are far from perfect and often produce do not produce useful results. At other times they can be very precise. For example, one database was not only able to give me where the address was being used (country and city) but also where in the city. In this case, the IP address was being used at a specific hotel.

One useful service–free to access and use–aggregates the results from several geolocation databases onto a single page. Visit IPLocationFinder.

Web Tools–Maps

geofabrikOnline maps can vary in a number of ways including amount of data, frequency of updates, and overall presentation of the maps themselves.

Map Compare from Geofabrik makes side-by-side comparisons fast and easy. Simply enter a location, select the map or maps you want to compare and click. In seconds, you’ll be presented with the results. This is a free service to access and use.

sketch garyGary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington, D.C., metro area. He is the author of INFOdocket (@infodocket) for Library Journal, and was a co-founder and senior editor at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker. Previously, Price served as a contributing editor to Search Engine Land and director of Online Information Services at 

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