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ICANN Kicks Off Open Data Initiative Pilot

6 November 2016
By Edward LewisEdward Lewis

ICANN has begun a pilot project to introduce an Open Data Initiative for ICANN-generated data.  Various ICANN activities produce data related to ICANN’s mission of coordinating the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, including domain name system operations, domain name registration activities, performance monitoring and many other topics.  The aim of this project is to bring selected data sets into the open, available through web pages and programming APIs, for the purposes of external party review and analysis. 

ICANN’s Open Data Initiative pilot project has three components:

  • Developing a catalog of existing data sets appropriate for publication
  • Selecting the technology to manage the publication of the data sets
  • Devising a process to prioritize the order in which data sets are made available

Earlier in October, ICANN staff held an internal kickoff meeting that concentrated on developing the catalog of data sets and a means to prioritize their availability. Selecting an open data technology, whether as a software as a service or built upon open technology, will largely depend on the catalog.  Many considerations were discussed, including the conditions under which data sets are considered eligible for being made open, which data sets should be available after a delay (due to the nature of the information), and which are to remain confidential according to existing controls and requirements.

The next steps for this project include developing a data catalog and generating a living document before ICANN58. During the same time frame, documentation will be developed to identify priorities – relying on both internal and community input – resulting in the selection of the data sets for the pilot project.


Edward Lewis

Senior Technologist

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