Spatial Social Network Analysis with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This workshop will outline principles for analyzing social networks whose nodes are linked to points or places in geographic space, i.e spatial social networks (SSNs). SSNs can be analysed using cross-cutting methods in GIS and in SNA. Participants will learn how to add geographic data to SN nodes, calculate whether edges cross boundaries of interest, and calculate whether “powerful” nodes cluster in geographic space. They will also be able to make a basic map of their data. After hands on activities, participants will be exposed to tutorials that teach more advanced cost-based models, including travel time or traversal over land use. Participants can bring their own datasets or use one of the datasets that is supplied in the tutorial. Participants will learn about best practices for using and formatting SSN data. We plan to use a mixture or R and ArcGIS/QGIS. Prior knowledge of basic SNA metrics and descriptors is recommended. No background in GIS is needed. A laptop is recommended for this exercise. We recommend, if possible, that students bring PCs, although this is not a requirement.

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