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Username: dot-geo
Date/Time: Mon, November 6, 2000 at 12:03 AM GMT (Sun, November 5, 2000 at 4:03 PM PST)
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Subject: SRI Comments regarding dot-geo


SRI International, a 50-year old nonprofit research institute
(formerly known as the Stanford Research Insititute) is pleased to
take this opportunity to thank those who have posted to the Public
Discussion Forum and to the many organizations that have communicated
directly with us before and during the proposal process, and to
clarify our goals for .geo (dot-geo).

One of the great advantages of the Internet is that it frees us from
the confines of the physical world allowing us to find information
without regard to its location, to form communities that span the
globe, and much more.  But the elimination of location and distance is
also one of the Internet's greatest weaknesses.  It makes it very
difficult to find information about our neighborhoods, our
communities, and our places of work and travel.  Unless, of course,
somebody else has collected that information for us, and for whatever
purpose they may have.

By using a TLD as the focus for location-based information around the
world, dot-geo will provide the latitude and longitude of the
Internet, addressing these difficulties while acting in the public
good to balance the influence of infomediaries.  Below are some
specific points of interest and clarifications.

* Our proposal meets and exceeds every ICANN criterion for the
issuance of a new TLD and has been given the highest rating for the
protection of intellectual property by the Intellectual Property
Constituency of the DNSO (

* As stated in our proposal, we will take advantage of input from all
interested parties in dot-geo.  Our proposed Forum and Advisory
Council, combined with SRI's commitment and record for achieving
consensus, is the right approach to the governance of dot-geo.

* Dot-geo enables location-based discovery of a broad range of
information including a web page or site referring to a given place, a
360 degree panoramic image, an audio recording of an outdoor concert,
an aerial photograph covering a large area, a 3D model of a building,
a map, and much more.

* Rich descriptions require active registration.  Discovery will be
based not only on the location that the information refers to, but
also on a summary of the information called geodata which will be
registered by end-users utilizing the services of GeoRegistrars. 
While some registration can perhaps be accomplished by web-crawling
and other data-mining procedures, this cannot be done for the vast
majority of the information available on the Internet.

* Dot-geo is an open and highly reliable environment designed to work
on a large scale, with millions of users discovering data
simultaneously.  dot-geo will eventually enable a user to pan and zoom
over a map of the world, from the globe down to street level looking
for relevant information.  At peak speeds, this might require tens of
queries per second to the distributed index, multiplied by millions of
users.  Traditional search engines require replication of the entire
database across many servers to accomplish such high performance,
which does not scale to the large amounts of geodata we anticipate. 
Further, traditional geospatial clearinghouses, which require
hierarchical searches through many independent collections of data,
cannot scale to this level of performance.

* Dot-geo provides a highly competitive environment - designed to
eliminate monopolies and to provide the market forces to keep geodata
registration fees as low as possible to end-users.  This is
accomplished through simple and inexpensive accreditation procedures
that allow many different organizations to become GeoRegistrars.  This
competition will engender a large range of services and will keep
prices to end-users as low as possible.  Also, many GeoRegistries (the
organizations that own and maintain the geodata servers) can provide
service for a given cell or area further engendering competition to
keep prices low to end-users.

* Dot-geo is completely agnostic about the form and format of data. 
Nonetheless, we understand the need for interoperability, especially
with regards to traditional geospatial data.  Consequently, as members
of the OpenGIS Consortium (OGC), SRI is drafting a charter for a
formal discussion group (SIG) within the OGC (an international
nonprofit organization chartered to create interoperable standards for
geospatial information, with members from a wide range of commercial
and government organizations from around the world).  We will also
continue our participation in academic conferences (such as last
week's International GISciences 2000 conference, where we presented
dot-geo), the International Digital Earth efforts, and numerous other

* Validation of data - dot-geo offers optional validation
certificates.  With this feature, geodata registrants can optionally
request that one or more validation agencies of their choice certify
that the geodata and/or data meet certain well-defined criteria.  This
optional feature provides benefits to geodata registrants, end-users
(who may choose to view data certified by agencies that they trust),
software designers (who may design software certified for data that
meet certain interoperability standards), and interested validation
agencies (such as governments, who may wish to certify only certain
classes of data).

* The role of JVTeam (NeuStar and Melbourne IT) in dot-geo conforms to
the required ICANN submission criteria.  SRI entered into an agreement
with a DNS registry provider under terms attached to our proposal.  We
chose JVTeam because they can provide a highly stable DNS registry
service for dot-geo, thereby enhancing the stability of dot-geo and
the Internet.  As described in our proposal, JVTeam will not be
providing GeoRegistry or GeoRegistrar services, nor will they have any
special access to geodata.

We would like to once again thank the many individuals and
organizations that have provided us with valuable input.  Please visit
our website ( to obtain additional information.



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