Jackson Hts., New York, October 13, 2013 - Here’s a quick treatment we did for a friend living in Manhattan who asked us for an example of how the concept of a digital grid - a concept borrowed from the Manhattan’s street grid - might contribute to the creation of a more intuitive and navigable city. Note: Our apologies to Staten Islanders with their wonderful borough getting cut off here - nothing personal, the software and the alphabet conspired against you. You can see the missing Staten Island names and learn more on the use of third level domain names on our wiki’s TLD Architecture page.

The Intuitive City

arts.brooklyn.nyc arts.bronx.nyc arts.queens.nyc arts.StatenIsland.nyc
bars.manhattan.nyc bars.brooklyn.nyc bars.bronx.nyc bars.queens.nyc bars.StatenIsland.nyc
culture.manhattan.nyc culture.brooklyn.nyc culture.bronx.nyc culture.queens.nyc culture.StatenIsland.nyc
dining.manhattan.nyc dining.brooklyn.nyc dining.bronx.nyc dining.queens.nyc dining.StatenIsland.nyc
education.manhattan.nyc education.brooklyn.nyc education.bronx.nyc education.queens.nyc education.StatenIsland.nyc
free.manhattan.nyc free.brooklyn.nyc free.bronx.nyc free.queens.nyc free.StatenIsland.nyc
GreenwichVillage.manhattan.nyc Gowanus.brooklyn.nyc Gottafakethisone.bronx.nyc Glendale.queens.nyc Granitville.StatenIsland.nyc
hotels.manhattan.nyc hotels.brooklyn.nyc hotels.bronx.nyc hotels.queens.nyc hotels.StatenIsland.nyc
icecream.manhattan.nyc icecream.brooklyn.nyc icecream.bronx.nyc icecream.queens.nyc icecream.StatenIsland.nyc
jewelrystores.manhattan.nyc jewelrystores.brooklyn.nyc jewelrystores.bronx.nyc jewelrystores.queens.nyc jewelrystores.StatenIsland.nyc

See if you can find the equivalent of Lexington Avenue - one of several grid breakers in the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 - in the above. 

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed October 11th, 2013 under Infrastructure, Domain Names, COPIC


Jackson Hts., New York, December 22, 2011 - With 21 days remaining before the ICANN’s filing window opens for new TLDs, authoritative city government sources report the following: the new deputy mayor with responsibility for the TLD’s oversight (Robert K. Steel) is being briefed about the opportunity; “everyone in the loop” is being consulted; the city has not decided what to do with the three proposals it received in December 2009 (we presume these are by Verisign, CORE, and a now merged Minds & Machines and NuStar application); the lead agency has yet to be determined; and the role of the public in the decision making process is unclear.

With mere days remaining for the application’s submission, we can’t fathom completing the comprehensive, ground-setting TLD design, planning, and development process, including public education and engagement, which we’ve advocated. With faith that the Bloomberg Administration can come up with a suitable zeitgeist vision waning, earlier this year we petitioned the city council to, minimally, set aside the neighborhood names as local civic and economic development resources.

But without a long-term vision and a strong commitment to using the TLD as digital infrastructure, we fear that our city’s TLD, and the neighborhood names, will be lost among the hundreds of helter-skelter TLDs ICANN is expected to authorize over the next few years. In the new TLD environment, a standard model city-TLD might be suitable for selling tourist tchotchkes, but without adequate planning, it will not serve as the infrastructure we need to enhance our digital future. 

Having worked and waited over 10 years for this opportunity to arise, we find ourselves compelled and saddened to make the following recommendation: Let’s begin now to undertake a comprehensive review of all that a TLD can do for our city. Let’s observe cities receiving TLDs in this first round and learn from their experience. And let’s prepare for ICANN’s next filing opportunity for city-TLDs, expected in perhaps three years - barely enough time to prepare a thoughtful and comprehensive plan.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

June-20-2011-New-TLD-Timetable.jpgJackson Hts., New York, June 20, 2011 - Meeting in Singapore, the Board of Directors of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, today approved a plan to usher in one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet’s Domain Name System. The Board vote was 13 approving, 1 opposed, and 2 abstaining.

Beginning as early as January 2012, an Application Guidebook will be released to enable entities to apply for city and other new Top Level Domains.

Today’s action is the latest milestone on the path toward issuing new TLDs that began during the Clinton Administration with the creation of ICANN in 1998. Ten years later, in June 2008, ICANN approved a New TLD policy that set the groundwork for today’s approval.

Following yesterday’s timeline, domain names using the .nyc TLD could be issued as soon as the first half of 2013. While there’s always the potential for additional delays, see for example our NTIA: Responsibility and Respect for Stakeholders post, this action will assuredly move the city toward more detailed thinking about the role of a TLD, a process that we expect will include public participation. (See our process recommendations.) We’ll post on the process and timeline for preparing and submitting the .nyc application to ICANN soon.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

air-pollution.JPGNew York, December 1, 2009 - How we allocate and manage our digital infrastructure is perhaps the central question surrounding the development of the .nyc TLD. What is an effective, efficient, and equitable domain name distribution policy and how do we govern its implementation and oversight?

Our Governance Ecology page provides a number of thoughts on this and today we add two others - common pool resource and common pool regimes.   

Elinor Ostrom, an American political scientist and winner of the 2009 Noble Prize for economics, identifies eight “design principles” of stable local ­common pool resource (CPR) management. Typical common-pool resources include irrigation systems, fishing grounds, pastures, forests, water, and the atmosphere. A first reading of her work indicates many similarities between these resources and a TLD. What can we learn from these, her 8 principles?

  • Clea­rly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties);
  • ­Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources are adapted to local conditions;
  • Collective-choice arrangements allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process;
  • Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators;
  • There is a scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules;
  • Mechanisms of conflict resolution are cheap and of easy access;
  • The self-determination of the community is recognized by higher-level authorities;
  • In the case of larger common-pool resources: organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level.­

­See our ­common pool resources wiki page for more on this “experience of the ages” addition to our governance considerations. (­Commons photo courtesy Sheila.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.

1993-2009.0.JPGNew York, August 28, 2009 - New York City’s voters approved a city charter amendment in 1988 that required publishing a Public Data Directory detailing the city’s “computerized information.”

In 1993 the first, and so far only, edition of the Public Data Directory was published with details of 300 or so databases. In recent weeks we’ve been working with the NYC Open Government Coalition to help make a digital version of the paper Directory available. The thinking is that many of the databases still exist and that this will be a starting point for a more robust detailing of current city databases.

The preponderance of the technology for the conversion was developed by the Transparency Corps, a project of the Sunlight Foundation, and New York City’s civil society catalyst The Open Planning Project.

The multi-step conversion process first scanned the Directory’s 156 pages into digital images. Next, these now digitized “pages” were read by an OCR program (Optical Character Recognition) which converted the digital images into computer readable characters. We’re now on the third step which requires two human inputs: 1.) copy the OCR text and paste it into the appropriate data fields, and 2.) with OCR delivering only 99% accuracy (e.g., it doesn’t do well differentiating a g and a q), after pasting you’ve got to compare if it accurately represents what was in the printed Directory, making any necessary corrections. The correct interpretation is not always obvious so each page is served and interpreted several times with a Levenshtein algorithm deciding on the correct version. The Transparency Corps has added a modicum of pleasure by incorporating a game-like scoring feature.

Visit the site and help make some of the conversions, each takes about 5 minutes. With the small commitment of time, this is an excellent example of an appropriate wiki task. 25% of the tasks were completed as of September 7, 91% on November 1.

When you’re done, go to our Internet of Things page and help imagine ways we might collaborate to wring more benefits out of the city’s databases and other ‘things.’ 

Learn more about .nyc on our wiki pages. ­­­

Filed August 28th, 2009 under Volunteers, COPIC, City Agency

The-nyc-TLD-Oversight-Structure-2-jpg.JPGNew York, July 22, 2009 - ­When Queens Community Board 3 first considered recommending the development of the .nyc TLD as a public interest resource in 1999, the ICANN was engaged in a fierce debate as to its internal governance structure, with a key issue being the role of Internet users in selecting members to its board of directors.

Over the ensuing decade the ICANN tested the direct election by Internet users to 5 regional seats on its board (in 2000) and, since 2005, it has been responding to global pressure for a more independent and effective operation centered around the United Nations initiated Internet Governance Forum.

One of the more difficult tasks before Connecting.nyc Inc. (or more broadly, the people of New York) is establishing a governance structure for the .nyc TLD. Perusing our wiki pages one will find a dozen or so pages dealing with different aspects of the governance issue - a work in progress.

Today, with ICANN supportive of city TLDs and the city administration supportive of .nyc, its time to start a conversation toward a governance structure that’s acceptable to ICANN and to the people of New York City. As an initial step, we’ve begun organizing and consolidating the wiki pages under the concept of a Governance Ecology.

The Governance Ecology - NYC Element page describes the above graphic and presents 1/3 of the story, with links to the other 2/3’s of the puzzle available via our Governce Ecology - Home Page. It’s a work in progress, but with your help we hope to complete a governance ecology for a .nyc operated in the public interest by summer’s end.

Learn more about .nyc on our wiki pages. ­­­

Here’s a Washington Post story indicating it might be time to hasten the transition of the city’s official websites from the Federal .gov TLD to our locally controlled .nyc TLD. Note: Connecting.nyc Inc. has committed to reserve the gov.nyc domain for use by the city of New York, Inc. as part of The Civics Project.

House Lawmakers Question Privacy in Cyber-Security Plan

Washingtonpost.com Staff Writer

Friday, February 29, 2008; Page D03

House lawmakers yesterday raised concerns about the privacy implications of a Bush administration effort to secure federal computer networks from hackers and foreign adversaries, as new details emerged about the largely classified program.

The unclassified portions of the project, known as the “cyber initiative,” focus on drastically reducing the number of connections between federal agency networks and the Internet, and more closely monitoring those networks for malicious activity. Slightly more than half of all agencies have deployed the Department of Homeland Security’s program.

But administration officials have not said how far monitoring would go, and whether oversight would extend to networks operated by state, local, and private sector entities, including government defense contractors… (See the full story from the February 29, 2008 Washington Post.)

Filed February 29th, 2008 under Civics, Oversight, COPIC, DoITT, Governance, City Agency

Monday, November 26, 2007 - Thomas Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc Inc.’s director, today appeared before the Commission on Public Information & Communication (COPIC), a New York City policy agency with members representing the city council, borough presidents, several mayoral departments, community boards, the public, and the publishing industry, with the Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, serving as chair.

The City Charter says the “commission shall … undertake, by itself, or in cooperation with other entities, activities to educate the public about the availability and potential usefulness of city produced or maintained information … assist the public in obtaining access to such information … review all city information policies … make recommendations regarding the application of new communications technology to improve public access to city produced or maintained information … programming for the municipal cable channels and broadcasting system.”

Mr. Lowenhaupt reviewed Connecting.nyc’s history and goals and requested an opportunity for a more detailed presentation at a future meeting.

During the Q&A that followed the presentation, Mr. Lowenhaupt noted his organization’s commitment to make the gov.nyc domain name available for city use. Council Member Gale Brewer, Chair of the Technology in Government Committee, and City Council representative on COPIC, made note of the favorable response Connecting.nyc received during a recent presentation to the city’s IT agency, DoITT.

Why COPIC? COPIC could help make city agencies aware of the opportunities presented by the .nyc TLD and coordinate city government’s plan for using .nyc domain names.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Filed November 26th, 2007 under COPIC, DoITT, City Agency