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ICANN Open Data Initiative

ICANN's Open Data Initiative has the goal of making eligible ICANN data sets available for easy public discovery and access (Open Data Initiative Pilot). The initiative is in response to community calls for access to data ICANN has, including a session at ICANN 58. More generally, open access to data wherever possible is part of ICANN's commitment to transparency.

ICANN has many data sets consisting of reported activity (per contractual agreements) and data generated by directly measured activity (such as meeting attendance). Much of this data can be useful to the community and even the general public, if it were known to exist, if it were in accessible formats, and if it were available in a timely manner. Some data is already publicly available but only in bulk format, some is published only in reports of activity, and some is not readily accessible today. The Open Data Initiative seeks to make as much data as possible available to the public so all can benefit.

There are many uses of existing data beyond what has been envisioned so far. For this reason, in the early stages, community involvement in the Open Data Initiative is vital to its success. To this end, a number of early pilots have been developed for public testing. Information on the pilot is here, along with information on how to provide your feedback.

The next steps in ODI include ICANN preparing a data set census, which is under development.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."