Knowledge dissemination and open science

BRGM, the national geological service, makes its geological and environmental data available through various digital technologies. High value-added information: a valuable decision-making tool. This public institution is committed to open data and knowledge.

BRGM, a key player in the dissemination of geological and environmental data 

On its portal InfoTerre, BRGM provides free and open access to its geological reports and maps, data from its information banks (subsoil data bank, industrial sites, natural hazards, etc.) and a large quantity of other geoscientific data. 

On request from the public authorities, BRGM also coordinates and manages several dozen websites and databases in the fields of geology, natural hazards (Géorisques), water (ADES), mineral resources (Mineralinfo), geothermal energy (Géothermies), etc. 

To ensure easy access to its data from any point in the country, BRGM also provides three mobile applications: i-InfoTerre (mobile version of the InfoTerre web portal), InfoNappe (on groundwater) and InfoGéol (on the geology of France).

Geological map of France at 1/1000 000

Geological map of France at 1/1000 000. 

© BRGM 

Open data and open knowledge policy 

BRGM's open data and open knowledge policy is developing to meet the requirements of the regulatory framework on access, distribution and reuse of public data in France and Europe. As the French geological survey, BRGM is particularly committed to the National Open Data Plan

In particular, from the infoTerre portal, BRGM provides free downloads of: 

  • its vectorised and standardised geological maps on a scale of 1:50,000 and the geological map of metropolitan France on a scale of 1:1,000,000. These are decision-making support tools for public authorities, planners and consultancy firms in various fields such as regional planning, mineral resource prospecting, groundwater exploration and protection, pollution control, natural risk prevention and soil characterisation; 
  • the Subsoil Data Bank (BSS), which lists the material safety data sheets of more than 800,000 structures, associated with more than 2,000,000 pages of technical documents. This data bank contains raw geological and technical information relating to underground structures: location, purpose, geological description and technical borehole data. 

Data interoperability: solid expert knowledge 

BRGM, a major player in the collection, enhancement and provision of geo-referenced environmental and geoscience data, was one of the pioneers in thinking up and conceptualising the principle of information system interoperability. Through its involvement in establishing and implementing standards for processing and distributing geo-environmental information, it has accumulated expert knowledge that is regularly sought in research projects and partnerships in France and Europe. 

BRGM is therefore closely involved in the construction of standards in the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) and the IUGS-CGI (Commission on Geoscience Information at the International Union of Geological Sciences). It is one of the main contributors to the establishment of the rules and standards of the European INSPIRE directive, which in the long term aims to put all European public environmental information online. It also plays an essential role in international initiatives (GEOSS, OneGeology). 

3D model of an underground quarry in Orléans

Data, services and digital infrastructures: a strategic challenge for BRGM 

BRGM collects, hosts and disseminates geological and environmental data, which are also used as raw material for new science. It is one of the main national and European reference establishments with regard to the management of the geoscientific and environmental data cycle.