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Network Working Group                                         K. Nielsen
Internet-Draft                                 Danish Maritime Authority
Intended status: Informational                              July 1, 2017
Expires: January 2, 2018

                     Maritime Resource Names (MRN)


   This document describes a Uniform Resource Name (URN) namespace for
   persistently and uniquely naming maritime resources published by the
   International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse
   Authorities (IALA AISM).

Status of This Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 2, 2018.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Specification Template  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Namespace Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Community Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

1.  Introduction

   The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and
   Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) is a non-profit, international
   technical association in the field of marine aids to navigation.
   Founded in 1957, IALA gathers together authorities, manufacturers,
   consultants, and scientific and training institutes from all over the
   world, offering them the opportunity to exchange and compare their
   experiences and achievements.

   Many standardized identification schemes exist for vessels, buoys,
   mariners and other maritime resources already, but there is no single
   system that allows people to specify such an identifier in a uniform
   and unambiguous way.  We believe that it makes sense to introduce a
   naming scheme that can uniquely identify any maritime resource on a
   global scale.

   A "maritime resource" can be anything that has an identity, including
   organizations, employees, people, physical objects, virtual objects
   (such as electronic documents), buoys, ships, mariners, nautical
   charts and electronic services (e.g., "today's weather report for the
   Oresund Strait").  Of course, not all resources are "retrievable" in
   an electronic sense; human beings, corporations, and buoys would be
   obvious examples.  However, all of these can still be considered

   Having a uniform naming scheme will pave the way for new maritime
   digital information services, facilitating innovation, integration,
   trade, safety, and security in the maritime sector.  This document
   defines such a naming system based on Uniform Resource Names (URNs).

2.  Specification Template

   Namespace ID


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   Registration Information

         Registration version number: 1

         Registration date: 2017-xx-xx

   Declared Registrant of the Namespace

      Registering organization:

         International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and
         Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)

         10 rue des Gaudines


         St Germain en Laye


         Email: contact@iala-aism.org

      Designated Contact:

         International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and
         Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)

         Email: info@mrnregistry.org


   Declaration of structure:

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   The Namespace Specific String (NSS) of all URNs that use the
   "mrn" NID shall have the following structure:

   <URN>   ::= "urn:mrn:" <OID> ":" <OSS>

   <OID>   ::= 1*(ALPHA / DIGIT) ; Organization ID

   <OSS>   ::= <OSNID> ":" <OSNS> ; Organization-specific string

   <OSNID> ::= 1*(ALPHA / DIGIT / "-")
               ; Organization-specific namespace ID

   <OSNS>  ::= 1*<URN chars> ; Organization-specific namespace string

   DIGIT   ::= %x30-39 ; 0-9

   ALPHA   ::= %x61-7A ; a-z

   Basics of the ABNF notation used:

    " " literals (terminal character strings); terms not in quotes are

    /   alternatives

    ()  indicates a sequence group, used as a single alternative or as a
        single repeating group

    <a>*<b>  indicates that the following term or group can repeat at
             least <a> and at most <b> times; default values are 0 and
           infinity, respectively

    ;   comment

    <URN chars>  As defined in [@!RFC2141]

   Relevant ancillary documentation:

      The process for assigning unique organizational IDs is managed by
      IALA.  Details and application process can be found at

   Identifier uniqueness considerations:

      Guaranteeing uniqueness is a two-way process.  First, IALA will
      guarantee that each organization is assigned a unique organization
      id that will never be reused.  Second, each organization must

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      guarantee that they do not assign duplicate organization-specific
      strings (OSS).

   Identifier persistence considerations:

      Each individual organization must guarantee that assigned URNs
      will not be reused and will remain valid beyond the lifecycle of
      the referenced resources.  However, although the URNs remain
      valid, the status of the referenced resource may change.

   Process of identifier assignment:

      The assignment of OIDs for each organization is managed by IALA.
      The assignment of organization-specific namespace IDs and strings
      is fully managed by each individual organization.

   Process of identifier resolution:

      There are no plans to provide a generally available resolution
      mechanism.  However, organizations are free to setup resolution
      servers for all or part of the URNs assigned under their
      organization id.

   Rules for Lexical Equivalence:

      The entire URN is case insensitive.

   Conformity with URN syntax:

      There are no additional characters reserved except as noted in the
      ABNF above.

   Validation mechanism:

      Each sub-namespace will have namespace-specific rules for
      determining validity.  There are no plans to provide a central
      repository for these rules.



3.  Examples

   All the examples provided in this section are hypothetical.  Real
   world naming schemes will most likely look different.

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   Using the MRN identifier scheme, a vessel with an IMO number of
   9743368 could be identified as follows:


   The governing organization that assigns IMO numbers is the
   International Maritime Organization (IMO).  IMO may delegate the
   actual assignment of numbers to another organization, but it is still
   the organization that determines that an IMO number is unique.
   Within the context of maritime resource names, the organization ID
   (OID) refers to the organization that governs the syntax and rules of
   a particular resource type.  In the example above, the organization
   ID is "imo".

   Each organization further divides the organization-specific string
   (OSS), which is the part following "imo", into two parts.

   The first part is an organization-specific namespace ID (OSNID),
   which is a unique identifier within the governing organization for a
   particular type of resource.  In this example, we have used "imo-
   number," but this could just as well have been "imonumber" or even
   simply "number".

   The second part is the organization-specific namespace string (OSNS).
   This is the only part that differs for resources of the same type; in
   this case it is "9743368".  The organization-specific namespace
   string is, as the name implies, specific to a particular combination
   of OID and OSNID.  In this case, the organization-specific namespace
   string is always a 7-digit IMO number.

   Another way to identify the same vessel might be to use its MMSI
   number.  Here the identifier could look like this:


   In this case ITU is the governing body because MMSI numbers are based
   on ITU recommendation M.585.  It is possible that national bodies
   might do the actual assignment of MMSI numbers, but ITU is the
   governing body for the standardization of MMSI numbers.

   These two examples show how multiple identities can identify the same
   entity; in this case, the same vessel can be identified by either an
   IMO number or MMSI number.  This is similar to how an individual
   might be identified either by a driver license number or a social
   security ID.  Note that some parameters that are frequently used for
   identification, such as human names, do not generally qualify as
   identifiers because they are not guaranteed to be unique.  A single
   identifier must refer to one and only one entity.

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   URNs range from very coarse-grained to very fine-grained.  For
   example, a container ship might be identified by one of the two
   previous URNs.  The containers aboard the ship might be identified
   with an URN adapting the ISO 6346 identifier scheme for container


   Finally, individual items in a single container might be identified
   by another URN scheme.  It might even be possible to integrate with
   URNs defined outside of the urn:mrn namespace.  For example, all
   items in a container might be identified by an electronic product
   code ([RFC5134]).  In other words, the use of URNs as identifiers is
   not limited to those defined within this document.  In the future,
   other non-maritime sectors might even adopt similar naming schemes
   based on URNs to facilitate easier integration across sector

   As mentioned earlier, an identifier does not need to be a physical
   object; it can be a virtual item such as an electronic document.  For
   example, IMO might decide that all of their documents should use a
   "publications" prefix.  The publication "IMO SOLAS Consolidated
   Spanish Edition, 2014 IF110S" might be referred to as:


   On the other hand, an organization such as IALA might decide that
   their publications should follow another format where the category of
   the publication is included in the identifier.  For example, a
   recommendation could be:


   The identifier of a guideline might be written as:


   As can be seen from the previous example, the organization-specific
   namespace string can be split into multiple hierarchies.  The
   governing organization can decide how it wants to structure its

   Another example of identifiers with multiple hierarchies could be
   seen in an identifier scheme for lights and buoys.  Here IALA could
   choose to let the OSNS consist of <CountryCode>:<National
   Identifier>.  For example:


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   There are no requirements that organizations be permanent entities.
   For example, the European STM Validation Project could choose to use
   "stm" as its organization ID.  A voyage ID in this project might look
   like this:


   Within the project, the group may use "xcus231230" to refer to a
   voyage plan.  However, the full URN can be used when working with
   external systems or other projects, in case another type of
   identifier is also used for a particular voyage.

   As can be seen from all of these examples, the scheme is highly
   adaptable.  Each organization can choose its own layout for a
   specific type of identifier.  It is easy to fit existing identifiers
   into the naming scheme, and it provides good context information
   about the type of the identifier, unlike something simple such as a
   random UUID.

4.  Namespace Considerations

   IALA traditionally addresses the maritime community, but its
   resources are made available to all interested parties.  URN
   namespaces can exist for any generic naming system that needs to be
   encoded.  It is the goal of IALA to foster a community around
   maritime resource names within the global maritime community.
   Therefore, binding to various other namespace repositories has been
   deemed impractical.

5.  Community Considerations

   Members of the IALA community will benefit from persistent and
   globally unique identifiers for use in software and in conformance
   with protocols developed and used by IALA and third-party

   Organizations will generally be free to structure their organization-
   specific namespaces in any way they see fit, as long as they
   guarantee uniqueness and persistence.  However, it is our intention
   to also provide general guidelines and best practices in the future.
   One example would be encouraging every organization to use
   "publications" as the organization-specific namespace ID for their
   official publications.  Another might be that every identifier that
   refers to a country use standards available in ISO 3166 for the
   representation of the names of countries and their subdivisions.

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6.  Security Considerations

   There are no additional security considerations other than those
   normally associated with the use and resolution of URNs, as described
   in [RFC1737], [RFC2141], and [RFC3406].

7.  IANA Considerations

   This document defines a URN NID registration that is to be entered
   into the IANA registry of URN NIDs.  It specifically requests the MRN

8.  Normative References

   [RFC1737]  Sollins, K. and L. Masinter, "Functional Requirements for
              Uniform Resource Names", RFC 1737, DOI 10.17487/RFC1737,
              December 1994, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1737>.

   [RFC2141]  Moats, R., "URN Syntax", RFC 2141, DOI 10.17487/RFC2141,
              May 1997, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2141>.

   [RFC3406]  Daigle, L., van Gulik, D., Iannella, R., and P. Faltstrom,
              "Uniform Resource Names (URN) Namespace Definition
              Mechanisms", RFC 3406, DOI 10.17487/RFC3406, October 2002,

   [RFC5134]  Mealling, M., "A Uniform Resource Name Namespace for the
              EPCglobal Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Related
              Standards", RFC 5134, DOI 10.17487/RFC5134, January 2008,

Author's Address

   Kasper Nielsen
   Danish Maritime Authority
   Carl Jacobsens Vej 31
   2500 Valby

   Email: kasperni@gmail.com

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