The French have launched their own answer to Google Earth – only to see it crash pretty much immediately due to the huge number of users trying to access the service.
The new service, called Geoportail, offers high resolution satellite images of the whole of France and France’s overseas territories. Users can not only zoom into a location to within 20 inches of the ground, but can also switch between satellite image views and map views and access geological data and charts. At the base of Geoportail lie 400,000 individual aerial images and 3,700 individual maps.
Geoportail is funded by the government-run National Geographic Institute, and the service has reportedly cost 6 million euros (or US$7.5 million) to build.
At time of writing, the service is still unavailable due to high demand – so if you want to look at the Eiffel Tower, continue using Google Earth for now!