Directions Magazine Francais is Now Launched!

By Luc Vaillancourt

Directions Media has launched a French edition of Directions Magazine, Directions Magazine Francais. The new publication is a French counterpart to Directions Magazine's Web portal which contains original and translated material along with content from the French speaking community..

Directions Media has hired my company, BALIZ Inc. (Quebec, Canada), to develop a French counterpart to Directions Magazine's Web portal, to write (original or translated material) and obtain content from the French speaking community (articles and press releases). The ultimate goal is to reach and maintain the interest of the readers for this new media.

It is with great pleasure that I am assuming the responsibilities of Associate Publisher and Executive Editor for Directions Magazine francais. I am joined by two additional resources to cover coordination, production and advertising.

Directions Magazine francais is a publication 100% dedicated to the international geospatial industry, 100% online and 100% French.

This is the 'direction' that Directions Magazine francais is taking !

100% Geospatial

Directions Magazine francais will cover the geospatial industry at large. The notion of geospatial industry is of course fuelled and animated by sciences, disciplines and technologies directly related to geomatics (topography, cartography, geodesy, photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS, GPS, etc.) but goes beyond these areas and includes products and services derived from IT, which benefit and exploit the information's spatial (or geographical) dimension.

100% Online

Directions Magazine francais is on the Web and uses its portal at and weekly newsletter to communicate with its readers. As with the other Directions Media publications, no printed version is available.

But information about the geospatial industry also circulates by face to face interactions and such communications are at the heart of Direction Media's two (and maybe more to come) annual events: the Location Intelligence Conference and the Rocket City Geospatial Conference.

100% in French

Directions Magazine francais targets the whole French speaking community. Although the editorial team is based in Canada, our objective is to give visibility to all countries and regions where French is spoken. The visibility that each country/region will get will certainly depend on demographic weight but factors such as current events, industry strength and (individual) stakeholder participation will also have an impact.

With Directions Magazine francais, a local touch is added in the way the industry news is covered. 'Localized' information gives to French speaking countries and regions this special opportunity to share information about their projects, their events, their innovations, without being diluted in the mass of news coming mainly from the United States and the triangle formed by UK, Australia and Canada (and its English speaking provinces).

Directions Magazine francais will reach readers less comfortable with English and who can't fully appreciate the ubiquitous English content on the Web.

We consider that our North American presence and our alliance with Directions Media is our greatest strenght and allow us to be different. We can provide a unique gateway between the English and French speaking communities, between North America and Europe. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the best of both realities, exchange knowledge and promote cross pollinization of ideas.

A Bit of History

My first contact with Directions Media's team happened as part of my business development activities in the company I had co-founded in the early nineties. Several subsequent meetings with them between 2000 and 2005 (at events such as CTIA, GeoIntel, GITA, MapWorld, NSGIC, URISA) and their participation as a media partner during our own event have led to a true friendship with Joe Francica, vice publisher and editor-in-chief for Directions Media.

It was during a conversation with Joe at the end of 2005 that the idea of a French edition for Directions Magazine sprang up, but at that time I was not ready for the project. It was finally in February this year that I recontacted him and suggested we go ahead with the idea. BALIZ, the company I was about to launch, could perfectly serve as publisher for the French edition of Directions Magazine. We concluded the agreement in April in San Francisco, during the Location Intelligence 2007 Conference.

During this event, we could feel the effervescence emerging from participating industries. Pioneers such as Autodesk, ESRI, MapQuest, etc. and Web and software giants such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Oracle, along with a more and more organized Open Source community (OSGeo), really proved and confirmed that the market was evolving and consolidating.

I was excited when I realized I was privileged to have the chance to position myself as an observer and market analyst, with Directions Media, instead of being part of the market, which had been my experience from 1993 and 2005.

Directions Media and my team at BALIZ will work hard to keep our French readers interested and informed. Directions Magazine francais also has a mission to communicate and share information from our readers' organizations, initiatives, products, services and events. We are counting on their involvement and input because their knowledge and expertise is of interest to the whole community. Our readers are welcome to contribute, whether it be an article (case study, interview, event review), a press release, a product evaluation or a blog posting.

Enjoy the Magazine!

Editorial originally published in French for the launch of Directions Magazine francais.

Published Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Written by Luc Vaillancourt

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