Description of the BD Topo database

The BD Topo database contains a 3D vectorial description, structured in objects, of the elements of the territory and its infrastructures, with a metric precision. The information available in BD Topo is grouped by themes guided by INSPIRE1 modeling:

  • Administrative (boundaries and administrative units)
  • Addresses (postal addresses) ;
  • Buildings (constructions) ;
  • Hydrography (water-related features) ;
  • Named places (place or locality with a place name and describing a natural area or inhabited place);
  • Land use (vegetation, foreshore, hedge);
  • Services and activities (utilities, energy storage and transportation, industrial sites);
  • Transportation (road, rail or air infrastructure, routes);
  • Regulated areas (most of the areas are subject to specific regulations).

The BD Topo database is produced by the Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (IGN), and is available at three levels of resolution: national, regional and departmental.

There have been several versions of the BD Topo database, the most recent being version 3.0. The history of the versions as well as the evolution of the product and the documentation can be consulted here: This database is updated on a quarterly basis since 2019. The latest version of the database is available at the following address: The entire documentation can be found in the address:

There are three formats available for the BD Topo database: - GeoPackage (Regions and departments) - Shapefile (Regions) - PostGreSQL (France and overseas territories)

Managing the BD Topo database with allows to manage the maintenance of an adapted database.

The key function used is :

  • download.bd_topo* to download the remote database.

Downloading BD Topo

There are 2 possible sources for downloading the database:

The last source is a mirror of the first one.

The download.bd_topo function downloads the database from the first address by default. However, the second address can be used by providing additional parameters (see function help:

destination = file.path("bd_topo", "download")
download.bd_topo(destination, department = 34)
download.bd_topo(destination, department = 34, date = "2019-09-19")

Data adaptation

Schema applied to data

The scheme applied to the data depends on the chosen theme. The ‘building’ theme is the one of the global variable ‘’, whose details are given in the following table.

Scheme applied for the building theme
name_origin_gpkg name order keep
cleabs id 1 TRUE
nature nature 2 TRUE
usage_1 destination_principal 3 TRUE
usage_2 destination_secondary 4 TRUE
construction_legere building_light 5 TRUE
etat_de_l_objet state 6 TRUE
date_creation date_creation 7 TRUE
date_modification date_update 8 TRUE
date_d_apparition date_apparition 9 TRUE
date_de_confirmation date_confirmation 10 TRUE
sources source 11 TRUE
identifiants_sources source_id 12 TRUE
precision_planimetrique accuracy_planimetric 13 TRUE
precision_altimetrique accuracy_altimetric 14 TRUE
nombre_de_logements dwelling 15 TRUE
nombre_d_etages level 16 TRUE
materiaux_des_murs material_wall 17 TRUE
materiaux_de_la_toiture material_roof 18 TRUE
hauteur height 19 TRUE
altitude_minimale_sol z_min_floor 20 TRUE
altitude_minimale_toit z_min_roof 21 TRUE
altitude_maximale_toit z_max_roof 22 TRUE
altitude_maximale_sol z_max_floor 23 TRUE
origine_du_batiment origin 24 TRUE
appariement_fichiers_fonciers majic_quality 25 TRUE
cleabs id 1 TRUE
code_insee commune 2 TRUE
code_insee_de_l_arrondissement district 3 FALSE
code_insee_de_la_collectivite_t territorial_authority 4 FALSE
code_insee_du_departement department 5 TRUE
code_insee_de_la_region region 6 TRUE
population population 7 TRUE
surface_en_ha area 8 TRUE
date_creation date_creation 9 FALSE
date_modification date_update 10 FALSE
date_d_apparition date_apparition 11 TRUE
date_de_confirmation date_confirmation 12 TRUE
code_postal postal_code 13 TRUE
nom_officiel name 14 TRUE
chef_lieu_d_arrondissement district_head 15 TRUE
chef_lieu_de_collectivite_terr territorial_authority_head 16 TRUE
chef_lieu_de_departement department_head 17 TRUE
chef_lieu_de_region region_head 18 TRUE
capitale_d_etat state_capital 19 FALSE
date_du_recensement date_census 20 TRUE
organisme_recenseur institution_census 21 FALSE
codes_siren_des_epci siren_epci 22 FALSE
lien_vers_chef_lieu link_head 23 FALSE
liens_vers_autorite_administrat link_administrative_authority 24 FALSE
code_siren siren 25 FALSE
cleabs id 1 TRUE
code_insee department 2 FALSE
code_insee_de_la_region region 3 TRUE
nom_officiel name 4 TRUE
date_creation date_creation 5 FALSE
date_modification date_update 6 FALSE
date_d_apparition date_apparition 7 TRUE
date_de_confirmation date_confirmation 8 TRUE
liens_vers_autorite_administrat link_administrative_authority 9 FALSE