GIS MONITOR, Nov 30, 2000
ICANN Nixes .geo Top-level Domain
Did You Know…? Dot Com Trivia
.tv Domain Sold
ASPs Not Selling
Change in the Air at “Traditional” GIS Conferences
Yahoo! Must Respect Country Laws
Points Of Interest
ICANN NIXES .GEO TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN
Seven new top-level domains (TLDs) were granted November 16 by ICANN, the
Internet’s naming authority: While .biz, .info., .name, .museum, .pro,
.aero, .coop were among the TLDs chosen to help alleviate the .com
congestion, .geo was quite conspicuous by its absence. Reports from the
meeting expressed surprise at .geo's absence, especially since ICANN had
a very positive reaction to .geo upon its introduction.
"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
"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."
"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
"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
-Ben Charny, ZDNet News
Broad visibility? Controversial? .geo spawned little debate since so few
people knew about it. As reported here in the GIS Monitor, the Open GIS
Consortium did not even have time to evaluate it effectively. Some of the
organizations suggested as beneficiaries in the proposal had not even
heard of the proposal when contacted during the public comment timeframe.
Nevertheless, the geospatial community did benefit from the question of
location on the net was brought forward in a serious and well thought out
manner. Even though this iteration may not have been successful, it will
serve as a key building block for future attempts.
By adding extensions that are really more of the same, ICANN proved to be
DID YOU KNOW…? (DOT COM TRIVIA)
-Since 1999 .com has grown 105%, .net 90% and .org 29%.
-Country domains grow rapidly, too: .jp has grown 56%, .ca 49%.
-It took 15 months to register the first 100 domains (3/15/85-7/10/86)
-The first ten registered addresses included: #1,symbolics.com, #2,
BBN.com (now GTE)
-Seven of the first 10 domains were given to universities including MIT
-The tenth domain registered was think.com, owned by Thinking Machines.
Thinking Machines is now owned by Oracle and think.com is now part of
Oracle’s Promise, their educational initiative for schools.
-Only 66% of all Web addresses registered are associated with a live Web
.TV DOMAIN SOLD
Tuvalu, the small country with the “.tv” top-level domain sold its rights
to that domain to Dot.tv, a California startup, earlier this year. Dot.tv
will pay Tuvalu $4 million per year over the next 12 years. A recent ad
compares .com to .tv this way: .com is represented by a cartoon-like
thunderstorm lightening bolt. .tv has a picture of a real “bolt” flashing
in the sky. The text: “A .tv web address tell the world you’re part of the
new generation of richer more engaging online experiences…”
Domains are $50/year for a two year minimum and will increase 5% at the end of the prepaid time. .com and other TLDs are $35/year. 100,000 .tv domains were registered in the first 6 months, an Internet speed record. www.gis.tv is still available as we got to press. Other countries, such as Tonga (.to), Niue (.nu), and Turkmenistan (.tm) hope for similar success, but so far, .tv promises to be the key for those hoping to use streaming for television-like content.
ASPs NOT SELLING
Though application service providers (ASPs) were once touted as the cash
cows of many Internet start-ups, hosting full-fledged applications over
the Web is not receiving widespread support. Autodesk has tried hosting
both Actrix and AutoCAD, and Microsoft is testing the waters for its .Net
initiative by making Internet-hosted Office available. So far as we can
tell there have been few takers, and certainly no buzz, for any of these
Few GIS companies have followed suit, perhaps knowing all the time that
running full-fledged, “heavy” applications like MapInfo or ArcInfo over
the Web would not be practical given current bandwidth, computing and
infrastructure limitations. That, and an apparent insensitivity to data
ownership may well have been big factors that prevented users from buying
in and are foiling the best laid ASP plans of giants such as Autodesk and
Instead, GIS marketplace vendors wisely focused on two ASP visions. One
set of applications is map serving. Any number of companies will host an
organization’s site and publish maps or small applications. The second set
includes more specialized services – geocoding and conversion, for
example, which focus on one part of GIS data creation. These parallel the
specialized CAD services offered by PlanetCAD and others targeting a
single phase of the design process.
In September cMeRun entered an agreement with DeLorme to host its consumer
level mapping products over the Web. The jury is still out on user buy-in.
DeLorme’s were among 200 titles offered by cMeRun, which in recent months
has found a new focus: hosting interactive games over the Web.
CHANGE IN THE AIR AT “TRADITIONAL” GIS CONFERENCES
The GITA conference, held next year in San Diego March 4-7, has a new
track this year, Municipal Perspective. The conference and trade show is
slowly growing to include far more areas than just traditional “utilities”
by focusing on enterprise thinking for GIS.
Meanwhile, the organizers of GIS2001, the 15th version of the Canadian GIS
show, have sent a heads up that they have added a focus on location-based
services to this year’s event. The “Location in a Wireless World
Conference” has been created to bring together leaders from the geospatial
technology and wireless industries to explore and discuss technology,
implementation and opportunities of the promising new wireless
location-based services industry.
The conference will be in Vancouver, Feb 19-22, 2001. If this anything
like last year’s show, it’s worth the trip to hear down-to-earth
presenters answer to attendees not afraid to ask tough questions.
YAHOO! MUST RESPECT COUNTRY LAWS
On November 20 a French court ordered Yahoo! to keep French users from
sites selling Nazi memorabilia. French law prohibits such sales in the
country. The court seems to feel this type of filtering is possible. Three
experts said that key words and IP addresses could keep 90% of traffic
out. This ruling may pave the way for more use of geographic tracking on
the Web. It also raises issues about Web businesses obligations to adhere
to the jumble of country and local laws covering a variety of topics.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Avon, the company known for its ding-dong-local-in-your-home cosmetics has
realized that these days no one is home! The solution: individual online
sites for its representatives. It seems that if no one is home, geography
does not matter.
FetchOmatic, a site whose mapping capability went online in July, is
basically a search engine/portal pair, and it does in fact, fetch. A sleek
layout and the ability to search on a city/state and optional zip code
make it a decent geographical search engine for businesses. Maps are
serviceable. Unfortunately, my few searches in Massachusetts, which did
locate a variety of businesses, did not yield any targeted advertising.
The banners read: “If your business is in Massachusetts then your ad could
be seen right here!”
It turns out that many Internet messages moving between two nearby areas
in Asia are being routed through the US. The US controls most of the
peering points – places where networks exchange customer traffic. Asian
“peering points”, some hosted by former monopolistic phone companies, are
themselves ISPs. Prices for access are high and small ISPs would rather
not put money into their competitor’s hands. Therefore, they take the long
way - and route through the US.
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