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A uniform resource identifier (URI) is a strings of characters used to identify names or resources on the Internet. The URI describes the mechanism used to access resources, the computers on which resources are housed and the names of the resources on each computer.
URIs can be classified as uniform resource locators (URLs) or uniform resource names (URNs) or both. The URL specifies the method used to obtain a representation either through the description of the primary access mechanism or through the network location. The URN identifies a resource by name in a particular namespace.
URI identification enables interaction with the resource representation over networks using specific protocols. For instance, the URI: http://www.w3.org/Icons/WWW/w3c_main.gif identifies an image file (.gif) accessed via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) on a computer housed at the www.w3.org domain.