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ICANN Nixes .geo Top-level Domain

by Adena Schutzberg

At the end of ICANN's meeting On November 16, only seven new top-level domains were granted: .biz, .info., .name, .museum, .pro, .aero, .coop. .geo was not included despite very positive initial reaction from ICANN. Reports from the meeting noted surprise at .geo's absence.

"The most surprising omission from the Board's group was the .geo domain name, which would've created a huge Web-accessible database of businesses and monuments based on location."

Eric Lai, Reuters 

"The controversial .geo proposal from SRI International was among them, but concerns about the TLD's ability to grow -- and whether it was the only way to geographically organize the Web -- got it knocked off the list."

Ben Charny, ZDNet News 

"But some of the rejected applicants simply planned to try again later. ``We're kind of disappointed, but we understand,'' said Michael J. Summers, whose location-based .geo proposal was rejected. ``At least we got very broad visibility.''" 

Anick Jesdanun, AP Internet Writer 

"Among those that didn't make the cut were .iii, in part because it was unpronounceable; .kids and .health, to avoid content control; and .geo, because its sponsors had ties with two other proposals in the semifinal round of nine."

Anick Jesdanun, AP Internet Writer

Controversial? .geo spawned little debate since so few people knew about it. As reported in the GIS Monitor, The Open GIS Consortium did not even have time to evaluate it effectively. Several of the organizations suggested as beneficiaries in the proposal, when contacted during the public comment timeframe, had not even heard of the proposal.

The best news for the geospatial community is that the question of location on the net was brought forward in a serious and well thought out manner. Even though this iteration was not selected, it will serve as a key building block for future attempts.


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