In 1969 the Apur set up an Urban Database (BDU),  within the framework of a partnership associating the Apur, the Île-de-France Institute of Urban Development (IAURP at the time) and the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The initial objective was to establish a geographic database to be shared by the 4 central Departments of the Île-de-France Region (Paris and its inner suburbs).


Over the last 40 years the Urban Database -BDU- has gathered a considerable amount of data (on geographic layers of information from the most detailed entries of  addresses to street blocks , groups of street blocks as defined by IRIS and Commune and Department boundaries),  used for statistical and cartographic processing in urban and regional planning.


In 2009 the Urban Database BDU was restructured to make room for the master database  (BDREF) which extended its land  plot repository to include the Departments of the inner suburbs.

The  master database  thus provides  the cartographic and statistical basis for a great many  studies carried out on Paris, the Communes, Departments and heart of the urban agglomeration of the Île-de-France.


The recorded data is organised as databases and Geographic Information Systems GIS, certain of which can be obtained from the Apur.


Apart from responding to demands concerning Paris and its urban agglomeration, the Apur  also puts its experience in the field of GIS to use by providing specific services and participating in international cooperation programmes:

  • partnerships with organisations which have complementary skills,
  • implementing and assessing Geographic Information System projects,
  • implementing and assessing land use databases and thematic observatories,
  • training and reception of trainees  for courses on the organisation of geographic data and cartographic representation techniques.

In order to comply with evolving  French and European regulations dealing with the  communication of public authority data, the Apur will gradually enlarge this item of metadata  and data formatted in accord with European recommendations and the INSPIRE directive.


Missions entrusted to the Apur take the form of reports, advice,  notes, periodicals, development planning and thematic maps, exhibition panels and statistical charts, observatories and studies.


Communication of public data

A certain number of French texts and European directives aim to render access to data, in particular that of a geographical nature, public, transparent and free to the whole of the population with  a few, very limited exceptions concerning intellectual property and statistical secrets.