The Uniform Resource Locator is the address of an Internet document. To reach the site of a document, the URL is typed in the Location section of the browser like this:

The URL above will take you to a page on wild wolves at NOVA Online. Click on http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wolves/ to go there.

Each part of this address means something.

http:// describes the method of communication (the protocol) that this address will use to send information over the Internet. The type referred to here is HyperText Transfer Protocol (http). Another example of a protocol is ftp://

www.pbs.org is a set of identifiers that together make up the domain name of the address. The identifiers are separated by periods called "dots". These words coordinate with the numerical IP address for that site (4 sets of numbers separated by dots as in Most WWW sites usually choose to use words instead of numbers, however.

www means the site is part of the World Wide Web.

pbs is the name of the host computer. This section of the domain name will often include the host computer and the institution that owns the computer. For example, in http://teachertech.rice.edu/, the host computer is called crpc (Center for Research in Parallel Computation) and the institution is .rice (Rice University.)

.org is the broad domain category that the host falls under. There are many such categories including the ones below. To see all of the top-level domain names and their counts as of July, 2000 visit the Internet Software Consortium

Identifier Meaning
.comcomercial organization
.edu educational institution
.gov governent facility
.int international organization
.mil US military facility
.net networking organization
.org nonprofit organization
.us United States
.au Australia
.ca Canada
.jp Japan

wgbh/nova/wolves/ are the directories and subdirectories under which this page is stored.

index.html is actual web page that contains the wild wolf information. If no other page name is given (as is the case here,) the page name is called index.html or default.html.

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TeacherTECH 2001       CEEE GirlTECH       Rice University

This page was developed through GirlTECH , a teacher training program sponsored by
the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from
the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI.

Copyright © 2001 by Barbara Christopher.
Updated: June 12, 2001