Paris, 15 March 2010

EFITA newsletter / 452 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

To read this newsletter on the web site...

Most French farmers are connected to the Internet (Gentilleau, 2010)

Number of farmers
of which number of professional farms

470 000
308 000

Number of computerised farms

315 000

Number of farms connected to the Internet
Of which professional farms
Of which (source TIC-AGRI) :
- high broadband (> 2 MB)
- low broadband (512KB et plus)
- no broadband

230 000
195 000

30 %
60 %
10 %

Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
E-mail: Waksman(a)

International conference “Discovering, Mining and Managing Complex Agricultural Data”
1 – 3 July - Crete, GREECE
Contact : Petraq PAPAJORGJI
E-mail: petraq(a)

Google Maps…
Some weeks ago I send a demo to friends of the EFITA newsletter how to make Google Maps with existing data – free available on the web.
Unfortunately the page with "Airports in France" was moved and some visitors couldn't find the example. That's why I send you a new example: now cities and regions in France: Data is available for free in some gazetteers. See the example on my website:

Gazetteers offer a lot of free geographic data. It is not very difficult to develop Google Maps using these data.
It works as follows:
Go to the link below and open in IE (Internet Explorer):
Copy the TABLE with your preferred data.

Paste this table in Excel and edit the file. You must have the columns: Name, Description, Latitude, Longitude and ICON (type of marker).
See for a working example:

Then go to:

You upload your Excel file (Upload your GPS data files here) It will produce a KMZ (zipped) or KML file (Unzipped). Save this file and give it a name.

You can open this file in Google Earth - right mouse click on the file-name and "open in Google Earth".
Contact: R. HUSKEN
E-mail: r.husken(a)

Satellite operators offer new Commissioner help to enable 100% coverage to EU citizens
Over a million business and households in rural areas could be connected to broadband Internet via satellite by the end of 2010
Brussels, 9 February 2010 – The European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of Neelie Kroes as the new Commissioner for the Digital Agenda portfolio. During her confirmation hearings in January, Ms Kroes identified the provision of safe and secure broadband access to 100 percent of Europeans as one of the key building blocks for her next five-year term. ESOA has offered to support the new Commissioner in coming a few steps closer to achieving this objective.
“Satellite technology is unique in that it can provide immediate connectivity to the Internet backbone, especially to those areas in Europe lacking commercial interest for terrestrial operators.” said Aarti Holla, Secretary General of ESOA. “Satellite infrastructure is already in place and more capacity will be launched this year but we still need public support, both at EU and Member State level, to overcome the obstacles preventing isolated citizens from becoming part of the 21st century information society.”
The latest figures published by the European Commission on broadband coverage show that the EU is still far from reaching the 100 percent connection goal. Although progress has been made, DSL for example - the dominant means of enabling high-speed connectivity in Europe - has yet to close a pronounced gap between urban and rural areas. Close to 10 million households in Europe are not covered by any kind of terrestrial broadband solutions.
As Aarti Holla explained, “today, the political focus is on high-speed Internet, which suggests that most networks need upgrading to provide speeds that are today not generally available. This technocratic approach inevitably pushes one technology that is identified as the only one capable of doing the job: fibre. This means that those who still have no connectivity at all risk remaining without it for even longer as rolling-out fibre to everyone is likely to take 20-30 years and require over €100 billion of public funding. Only a mixture of technologies will achieve 100% coverage in any acceptable timeframe and at a reasonable cost.”
According to ESOA’s estimates, satellites are in a position to connect over a million extra business and households in rural areas by the end of this year making a significant contribution to bridging the existing digital divide. “We look forward to making the case for the satellite solution to Commissioner Kroes in the coming weeks,” said ESOA’s Secretary General.
>>> Spanish Presidency
Spain, which has taken over the EU presidency for the first half of the year, has set a Telecommunications work-programme which can contribute greatly to accomplish the goal set by Ms Kroes. Its intention is to extend the provision of universal service requirements to broadband Internet. If the plan is approved, it will make compulsory for member states to guarantee that this type of service is available all across their territory.
“Spain can set an excellent example of how a collaboration between space and earth based technologies can be instrumental in enabling communication services to evolve to their fullest potential”, Aarti Holla said. “Thanks to the Broadband Extension Programme (PEBA in Spanish), which paid special attention to the use of satellite technology to serve the most remote and isolated areas in the country, satellite access has recently increased in Spain delivering broadband to 8.4 percent of the population in rural areas according to the most recent OECD data.”
Contact: Fernando ANTON
E-mail : fanton(a)

The Trouble with Harry!

A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with Harry, one of her students.
The teacher asked, 'Harry, what's your problem?'
Harry answered, 'I'm too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!'

Ms. Brooks had had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office.
While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the school principal what the situation was.
The principal nodded gravely and told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test.
If he failed to answer any of his questions he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave. She agreed.

Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.
Principal: 'What is 3 x 3?'
Harry: '9.'
Principal: 'What is 6 x 6?'
Harry: '36.'
.... And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

The principal looked at Ms. Brooks and told her, 'I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade.'
Ms. Brooks said to the principal, 'Let me ask him some questions.'
The principal and Harry both agreed.

Ms. Brooks asked: 'What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?'
Harry, after a moment: 'Legs.'

Ms Brooks: 'What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?'
The Principal wondered why would she ask such a question!
Harry replied: 'Pockets.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a dog do that a man steps into?'
Harry: 'Pants.'

Ms. Brooks: What starts with a C, ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin, whitish liquid?'
Harry: 'Coconut.'

The Principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.
Ms. Brooks: 'What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?'
The Principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer, Harry replied, 'Bubble gum.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?'
Harry: 'Shake hands.'
The Principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: 'What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?'
Harry: 'Firetruck.'

The Principal gasped a sigh of relief and told the teacher,
'Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last seven questions wrong...'

Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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