Social Network Analysis

Discussion created by warrenpettey on Aug 30, 2011
Latest reply on Feb 17, 2015 by nestorast
The description for the Schematics extension mentions that users can create representations of social networks using the Schematics extension.  And, in fact, in the training video and video transcript for Introduction to ArcGIS Schematics, the presenter, ESRI's Rick Anderson, demos a prototype "Social Network Analyst" (pg 68 on the transcript and at 48:43 in the presentation video). 

However, outside this presentation, I haven't seen use of Schematics for social network representation or analysis.  I spent an hour on the phone with an ESRI tech and he and I were unable to find any demonstrations or this elusive "Social network Analyst" toolbar.

I work in public health/epidemiology/infectious disease,and the ability to model social interactions is becoming increasingly important.  The challenge modeling social networks is that they're really aspatial contact actions that take place in a spatial domain.  In other words, if A contacts B, and then B contacts C, and if A is infectious with a disease and B and C are susceptible, it's really difficult to represent that as a spatial geography--a big dot or animation in, say, a classroom isn't satisfying or really all that meaningful.

Social network analysis software has made considerable development recently. Examples of this software are UCINet, Pajek, and NodeXL (free extension for MS Excel).

I'd like to drop graphs of social network contacts on a geography in much the same way utility companies can represent complex transmission lines and pipelines on a geography.

My apologies if this is in the wrong forum or if there's something already being developed or in use.  If so, please point me in the right direction.