Feeds

French Google Earth rival crashes and burns

Geoportail slams shut

The essential guide to IT transformation

A French alternative to Google Earth - offering hi-res coverage of the entire country - went into meltdown last Friday shortly after its launch and is still unavailable due to a stampede of punters eager to avail themselves of the free service.

French prez Jacques Chirac chaired the official launch of Geoportail, Yahoo! reports, and quickly administered the Gallic kiss of death to the project by proclaiming: "This is a step forward for all citizens, which places France at the forefront of new technologies."

Geoportail cost the French taxpayer a cool €6m which the National Geographic Institute used to collate 400,000 aerial photos and 3,700 maps. It reportedly allows users to "zoom in to within 50 centimetres of the ground" and to "switch from aerial views of a site, to detailed maps, charts and geological data".

We'll take Geoportail for a spin as soon as France has re-established itself at the forefront of new technologies. In the meantime, the black helicopter-spotters among you will be disappointed to learn that "certain sensitive or military zones" are censored, so we'll presumably have to continue to rely on Google Earth for quality material such as this fine view of naval hardware in Toulon...

Toulon naval base

...or a handsome trio of AWACS at Avord air base:

Avord air base

Bootnote

Those of you without Google Earth can find the Toulon and Avord images on Google Maps here and here, respectively.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?