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The Place Names of French Guiana in the Face of the Geoweb: Between Data Sovereignty, Indigenous Knowledge, and Cartographic Deregulation

Abstract : French Guiana, the only overseas region of Europe located in South America, is faced with the claims of identity politics, particularly those of indigenous peoples, who propose alternative place names. This critical analysis of the process of a posteriori recognition of toponyms is based on deconstruction of local, national, and international toponymic databases circulating on the geoweb, supported by interviews with the advocates of these corpora. We propose a critical analysis of toponymic data flows, examining how these data transit through the Web and disappear into the limbo of the Internet or gradually become definitive. This highlights the complexity of the current digital geographic information landscape: national institutes defend a form of data sovereignty for their territory, but they are caught between the digital empowerment of local communities now able to produce counter-cartographies and planetwide cartographic deregulation emanating from the Web giants.
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Matthieu Noucher. The Place Names of French Guiana in the Face of the Geoweb: Between Data Sovereignty, Indigenous Knowledge, and Cartographic Deregulation. Cartographica, University of Toronto Press, 2020, 55 (1), pp.15-28. ⟨10.3138/cart-2018-0027⟩. ⟨halshs-02536253⟩

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