Violaine Paquereau points to an article about France’s upcoming map app that contains some extra details gleaned by actual reporters. Here they are, translated, for those of us who don’t speak Freedom:-)
The first 2D Google Maps-like version is due in June 2006 and is being developed by Teamlog and Digitek… The National Geographic Institute (IGN) says Google Earth currently only covers 20% of France at the resolution that GéoPortail will cover it at… GéoPortail will be a website, and not an application like Google Earth, and yet by 2007 it will have 3D capabilities.
Géoportail project chief Patrick Leboeuf (really) says that they’ve been thinking for years about how to present their datasets, but that it’s true that the arrival of Google Earth showed them that there is great demand by the public for this type of data. He also says that over time, he doesn’t exclude having commercial links to the site. “But such things would have to be much more separated than on Google,” he adds, cryptically. Finally, IGN says they expect to have 500,000 unique visitors during the first year, which sounds very low to me.