TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: France Unveils National Rival to Google Earth

France Unveils National Rival to Google Earth

Reuters News Wire (
Sun, 25 Jun 2006 14:30:33 -0500

A clear view of your favorite French beach or monument is only a click

France unveiled a Web site ( ) on Friday that
allows people to access detailed satellite images of the country and
said it offered more detail of its territory than Google Earth
( ).

Google Earth, which allows Internet users to zoom in on locations
around the world, caused concern when it was launched last year among
governments who feared terrorists might use the service to help plot

But President Jacques Chirac stressed the need for France to have such
a site, which will allow Internet users to view aerial photos and
maps, saying the state had to be at the cutting edge of modern

"It is also a case of economics," Chirac was quoted by his office as
saying during a presentation of the new portal, which is a joint
project by the National Geographic Institute and the Office of
Geological and Mineral Research.

"With Galileo (the European Union satellite navigation system), with
the mobile telephone, services linked to global positioning will
develop a lot. It is also about democracy because our citizens have
the right to know all the facts about the environment."

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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