Geographic Names Panel

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The Geographic Names Panel is one of multiple panels that are involved in ICANN's initial evaluation process for new gTLDs. It is responsible for determining if the proposed new gTLD represents a geographic name (country or territory name, sub-national geographic name, city name, continent or UN Region) under the standards set forth by Applicant Guidebook. The panel will also evaluate if the geographic name being applied for requires government support and ensures that the supporting documents from government authorities included in the application are verified and original.[1] [2]

The Economist Intelligence Unit and InterConnect Communications, in partnership with the University College London, were selected to make up the Geographic Names Panel in November, 2011.[3]

It was predicted that the Geographic Names Panel would be able to finish its evaluation ahead of many of the other panels, finishing on or around November 12, 2012.[4]

Google Violates Geographic Rules

It was quickly noted following the public reveal that Google had applied for three strings that were clearly in violation of the protection of geographic territory names as per the ISO-3166 standards. Their applications for .and, .are, and .est are all protected names on that list, for Andorra, the United Arab Emirates, and Estonia respectively. .and was intended for use as a Brand TLD for Google's android services, while .est and .are were intended as "domain hacks", so domains such as cats.are/best and fast.est/car would be made possible.[5] These applications were later withdrawn, though a full-refund was not given.[6]


On March 7th 2013, it was announced that the following strings refer to geographic areas but did not apply as geoTLDs: .bar, .tata, .tui; while the following strings applied for as geographic but do not actually refer to a geographic area: .ist, .ryukyu, .scot, .vegas, .frl, .zulu. Kevin Murphy, of Domain Incite, noted that other TLDs referring to known geographic areas were not singled out, including: .capital, .delta.[7]

Related Panels

Other Panels and evaluations involved in the Initial Evaluation Process:[8]