France launches challenger to Google Earth

France launches challenger to Google Earth

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Paris, France 23 June 2006: France unveiled a Web site (www.geoportail.fr), a joint project by the National Geographic Institute and the Office of Geological and Mineral Research, on June 23. The portal allows people to access detailed satellite images of the country and offers more detail of its territory than Google Earth.

The launch of this initiative was chaired by none other than French President Jacques Chirac. The service has been made available for free and allows users to zoom in to within 50 centimeters of the ground.

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 technology.