I spent some more time with the .geo proposal. I found more things that
just don't make sense � yet. The proposal suggests that many
organizations will benefit from the new domain. They even list them: USGS,
NASA, EPA, Geomatics Canada, UNESCO, UNCTAD, ESA, Open GIS Consortium (OGC),
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum, World Board Forum,
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Petrotechnical Open
Software Corporation (POSC), Joint Steering Group on Spatial
Standardization and Related Interoperability. These are exactly the groups
I want to see speaking out - for or against - this initiative. But I don't
So, I started to ask these organizations what they'd heard about .geo.
This week I received one stock answer from USGS: "The USGS is an
agency of the United States Federal Government. In keeping with its role
as an impartial scientific agency, the USGS maintains a policy of neither
criticizing nor endorsing other organizations, their web sites, or their
publications." I'm a bit disappointed that the organization that I
pay my taxes to fund has nothing to say about an initiative that would
change mapping and the web forever. The ISO (International Standards
Organization) was checking to see if they had been contacted. The note
from UNCTAD pointed out that one of the support comments noted on the
dotgeo discussion area was clearly marked to indicate it represented only
the author, not the organization.
Further down in my close reading, I noted that SRI had already
contracted a registry operator: JVTeam, LLC. And, they had a proposed
contract with them, already written. JVTeam was still changing its name on
Sept 29 of this year. JVTeam is a newly registered company, a Joint
Venture (JV, get it?) of Neustar, Washington DC and Melbourne IT of
Australia. Melbourne IT (1996) is in the Internet domain name registry
game: they are the administrator of the .com.au domains. Melbourne IT has
several formal alliances with Verio Inc., Ericsson Australia Pty. Ltd.,
i-DNS.net International, Digital Envoy Inc., and eSign.
Neustar (1998) is owned by four companies: Warburg Pincus Equity
Partners and affiliates (68%), Lockheed Martin Corporation (4%), Universal
Telecommunications, Inc., (3%) and NeuStar management (25%).
Neustar was started as a business unit within Lockheed Martin. NeuStar
designed, built, and manages one of the largest databases in the world and
now serves as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). It
operates the telephone numbering registry for the North American Numbering
Plan as a public numbering resource. NeuStar is also the Local Number
Portability Administrator (LNPA) for the U.S. and Canada, operating the
routing registry, the Number Portability Administration Center Service
Management System (NPAC SMS) for North America. Does it make sense for the
same people who manage "all phone numbers" to manage "all
Next, I took a deeper look at the marketing section of the proposal.
The proposal notes current directories and search engines cannot keep up
with new pages. No argument there. "Directory and search engine
providers can make their services more complete, less biased, and easier
to use by incorporating .geo." How is .geo less biased? Results will
still be listed with some higher and some lower. How can it be more
complete since any site/page/movie/3D rendered scene, that is not
registered, cannot be searched spatially?
The marketing section also provides user scenarios in different use
arenas. On GIS: ".geo also will make existing GIS technology more
powerful by enabling conventional GIS systems to access information that
now is not available in proprietary GIS formats." I think the idea
here is that geospatial metadata is currently not stored by most GISs.
That is true, but changing. Still, those holding the data would have to
actively register it in order for anyone to access it. Finally, "We
expect the GIS industry to embrace .geo." I do not understand why SRI
is not SURE that the GIS industry will embrace it. Wouldn't SRI want all
the big players on board already?
And, finally, I'm trying to figure out how SRI will convince
"end-users" that is data providers, to register their data. One
of the user scenarios describes an oil company looking for information on
the likelihood of an oil deposit in a particular sub-sea location. .geo
turns up: "a 16th-Century report by the captain of a Spanish galleon,
quoted in a thesis published online, describing a welling-up of tar"
from beneath the waves." Perhaps. But who spent the time to read the
thesis, then register this information? And who paid for it?
Warning: main(http://sparc.profsurv.com/gismonitor/feedback.php) [function.main]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
in /home/sites/www.gismonitor.com/web/articles/comment/110200geo2.php on line 148
Warning: main() [function.include]: Failed opening 'http://sparc.profsurv.com/gismonitor/feedback.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/lampp/lib/php') in /home/sites/www.gismonitor.com/web/articles/comment/110200geo2.php on line 148