SPHEROGRAPHIA » WP4 From the field to virtual globes

From the field to virtual globes: filling in the blanks, making the Guianas visible


After being interested in the making of virtual globes (WP2), the aim here is to analyze their uses, in particular in the data deserts identified in WP3, and to question the nexus "information gap / spatial injustice". WP4 aims to explore, in the field, the political effects of information poverty. It has two essential aims.

The first is to take stock of the information capital of a transnational space considered as a data desert and to qualify the nature of the links (or the absence of links) between informational volume, (in)action and political contestations (4.1).

The second is to question the local and multiple appropriations of these global environmental images by immersing oneself in collectives that try to fill in the blanks of the maps (4.2).

This work on a specific field also foresees, in the long term, a return to the corpus of WP2 to re-interrogate it through the prism of the results obtained locally.


A multi-sited survey on the Guiana Shield is based on:

  • an analysis of this space in the corpus gathered in WP2 using the methods developed in WP3,
  • interviews with organizations involved recognizing this entity (BioPlateaux, Ecoseo). Transcending state barriers, NGOs have taken on the mission of having the Guianas recognized as a single space to be protected as a priority, by militating for shared environmental governance. The visibility of their issues on globes is a key element of their lobbying strategy;
  • Participatory observations with data-producing collectives. The rise of counter-mapping in the Guianas makes the recognition of indigenous issues in these trans-boundary and global representations a priority issue. Caroline Delattre's geography thesis participates in WP4.2, dealing more specifically with the place of indigenous representations in the effort to recognize the Guianas. The travelling exhibition (WP5), will be an integral part of the research process of this WP: the intermediary results (scientific visualization, art work) will be presented there and will serve as an aid to enrich the interviews.

Résultats attendus

This work package should lead to publications allowing demonstrable progress in the epistemological reflection on the articulation between local representations and global environmental images in large spaces.

This work should also contribute to the critical analysis of the political use of globes and to a theoretical reflection on the production and flow of data in the era of post-sovereignty cartography. By changing the scale of analysis, all of these results can feed the Art/Science workshops of WP5.