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Open data / Data.gouv.fr: the first French collaborative National Address Database is now online, and freely accessible
Mercredi, 15 Avril, 2015

On April 15th, Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for State Reform and Simplification, inaugurated the launch of a collaborative and free French National Address Database (“Base Adresse Nationale” - BAN), a pioneer of its kind.

The French National Address Database (BAN) associates each address listed on the French territory (25 million addresses) with its geographic coordinates. It does not contain any nominative data. It was built from addresses databases of La Poste, the National Geographic and Forest Information Institute (IGN) and the Public Finances General Directorate (DGFIP). It was then enriched by data produced by governmental agencies, and will be fueled by citizen contributions.

On adresse.data.gouv.fr, municipalities, companies and citizens can freely contribute and use this database on the principles of collaboration (share, improve and reuse a common good).

Three levels of services are offered to individuals,companies and local governments:

  • Free download of address files;
  • The first French geocoder comparable to web tools provided by internet large players;
  • A Local Address Counter (Guichet Adresse Mairie) to support municipalities in creating, identifying and numbering the road network.

Users who do not wish to share their data will be able to access the BAN with conventional commercial licenses. Users who wish to access the vintage versions of IGN and La Poste will be able to pay for them  and enjoy confidentiality, legal certainty and certified data quality.

An open data BAN: what are the first uses?  

The BAN offers a "Local Address Counter" to assist municipalities in their daily processes of managing the road network. This counter enables them to create new addresses, and to geotag, name and number them. The BAN will also generate the paperwork to be validated by the municipal council, as well as notifications intended to end-users and institutional partners. The Local Address Counter hence facilitates the entire process of road network management, from updates identification to citizens  information.

For the private sector, the BAN is a reliability and optimization tool of their mailing lists.  It offers a guarantee of quality and allows addresses geolocation.  Lastly, the  BAN aims to propose to citizens a new solution to their address geolocation requirements, based on the address database authenticated by La Poste and the IGN. 

Collaboration between public authorities and civil society

BAN is the product of an innovative collaboration model between public authorities (Etalab, a mission of the General Secretariat for the Modernization of Public Action -SGMAP-), public actors (the National Institute of Geographic Information and Forest -IGN and La Poste Group) and civil society (OpenStreetMap France Association) to build an essential reference for the economy, society and public services. It aims to gradually extend to all address actors. These actors are contributing to modernizing government and local authorities, engaging them in open data policies, in the maintenance of a contributory common resource and in the co-production of an open source information system.

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Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for State Reform and Simplification, "On the form and substance, the provision of the BAN is an essential step for the digital transformation that is essential to state’s reform. In substance, quality open data allow to develop useful public services to citizens. On the form, citizens and several administrations work together to improve existing resource. It's a new way to strengthen public service!"

Henri Verdier, director of Etalab and Chief Data Officer (SGMAP), "This new model where governments and civil society join forces to produce, make available and update a key infrastructure for the economy and society is a major advance. After data.gouv.fr, this is a new form of collaboration between government and civil society. What we are inaugurating today is also a new form of open collaboration between public agencies, in which all actors can contribute to the open source BAN."

Daniel Burseaux, CEO of IGN, "This is another step in the provision of a given reference and authority. The address database undertake in 2005 with La Poste, is considered, with its 25 million addresses as the most successful database. The biggest global operators evidenced that by their recent acquisitions. The establishment of the BAN with La Poste, Etalab and OSM will lead to further improvements through the development of the community-sourcing and crowd-sourcing."

Philippe Wahl, CEO of La Poste Group, "Opening and open sharing of the National Address Database makes address a public good in the service of all. It is also a quality optimization lever of addresses in France in four areas: completeness, geolocation, standardization and update. La Poste Group intends to make addresses a real lever of modernization and performance of public action."