The relational atlas as a methodological tool

The atlas is also a tool to participate in the deployment of territorial actors by supporting a better understanding of their territory and experience, and a harmonisation with theoretical knowledge.

In this case, we use the construction principles of the atlas to create “local maps” (or “personalized atlases”), together with the territorial actors. Taking their concrete local problem as a starting point, the territorial actors determine the problem’s characteristics and possible angles of approach. CITEGO helps them broaden these points of view as much as possible and determine what connects specific characteristics and angles of approach.

Consequently, the construction process for the atlas is as important as the “result”, and makes it possible (1) to determine relevant combinations for action and (2) stimulate an attitude of cooperation and reflexivity. These local maps are a chart to interpret the projects of actors. It is a constant renewal of debate that does not aim to assert or impose a perspective, but rather to encourage actors to ask questions differently.

The construction of local maps is a necessarily collaborative process that greatly resembles other collaborative approaches for the construction of geographical atlases, such as Open street map. The matrix is ready to be used by territorial actors for the construction of their local map.

With this tool, actors can visualize the findings, stakes and questions that arise at different stages of the project, so as to build possible scenarios for action.
The local maps are not separate and isolated, but connected to the rest of the atlas.