AH 180
Internet Assignment #5


In this lesson, we'll take a look at website addresses, called URLs. These long lines of jibberish can actually tell us something about a website, mainly who is responsible for the website, and who is paying the bill to have it posted on the web.

Major contributors of Internet information can be organized into 4 large categories:

graph of four internet contributors

Each of these contributors uses a different ending in their domain name, the part of the Internet address between the double slashes and the first single slash.

  • .gov are government agencies, including 3 huge federally-funded national libraries.
  • .edu are educational institutions, universities, colleges and research institutions.
  • .com are commercial enterprises, everyone who is trying to sell you something.
  • .org are nonprofit organizations, such as Amnesty International or the American Heart Association.
If the address in the location bar at the top of the screen has an address like this:
then we can safely assume a couple of things:

  1. Because of the .edu ending, this is an educational site, a university, four-year college, or research organization.
  2. Because of the berkeley designation, this is probably coming from the University of California Berkeley website.

This will be true even if the address has many more folders and files after this domain name. Remember that we are looking only at the first part, the part between the double slashes and the first single slash.

extended URL
The parts of the URL after the domain name list the folders and files where this particular website lives. Think of the URL as directions to the browser program to find the website. We're telling it first to look on a particular computer system:

And on that system look for a folder called:       departments

And in that folder, find another folder called:       nut

And in that folder, find a document called:       major.html

Look at these addresses and see if you can guess where they are coming. You can check your guesses by clicking on the links.

Look at the website linked below.


Because the domain name is www.alz.org, we can guess that this site is coming from a nonprofit organization. You might guess that it's a site dedicated to Alzheimers patients. To check this, you can subtract parts of the URL until you have only the domain name left. Click twice in the location bar at the top of the screen at the end of the URL. The first click will highlight the entire URL. The second click will leave your cursor blinking at the end of the URL. Now hit the Delete key until only the domain name is left.

Delete everything after .org

When you hit the Enter key, you'll be taken to the front page of the supporting page. To get back to the site about hygiene, click on the Back button at the top of your screen.

Look around this site. This is a webpage with suggestions on how to bathe an alzheimer's patient. Do a quick scroll through some of the information.

How does this information compare to the information on page 325-326 of your textbook?

Look at the two sites linked below. They are both coming from commercial websites, places that are trying to sell you something. There are some authorities that claim commercial sites account for 60% of the information available on the web. However, some commercial websites contain useful information. Look at these 2 sites and describe what each of them is selling:


Let's try this again.

Look at the two sites linked below. These both have an .org identity in their domain names, meaning they are both coming from nonprofit organizations. However, once again, they are very different. Click on the links.Give me the name of the supporting institution, plus a short description of the contents of each site.


road sign Let's Review

In this assignment we covered:

  • Analyzing the address (URL) of a website to determine the supporting organization. This let's us know who is paying the bills and helps us decide whether there is an obvious bias to the website.

  • You also should be able to subtract endings from a URL (folders and files) in order to get back to the supporting institution.

You'll be able to use these skills in Assignment #6, when we look at search engines on the Internet. From the thousands of sites on your result lists, you'll be able to quickly identify the type of information on individual sites without having to waste your time clicking on each one.



You've almost finished. Now comes the most important part:

 Your Name:

Your Class Section #:

 Your e-mail address:

Time spent on this assignment:

Please type in the image that you see below:

 And now you can click on the submit button


Address of this page:
Last updated on 02/20/2008

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