Mapping Social Networks -- Present, Past, Future


Mapping and networks feel modern and hip.  In today's increasingly connected world, we assume that social networks are real-time, technologically relevant, but networks of influence far precede our internet-focused era.  Significantly, mapping networks offers an understanding of how ideas travel.  Visual and performing art historians, professional dramaturgs and curators all know that mapping people, objects, or ideas across time and space can broaden an understanding of an art piece or process. Administrators can also benefit from studying networks. Mapping audience travel patterns to an organization offers incite for both marketing and distribution. Geographically mapping your audience or board or any constituency to determine geographic diversity can offer an understanding of organization impact.

Two recent historical ventures offer new ways of thinking about interactivity, mapping, and networks. A historical venture around Francis Bacon recently came online led by researcher, David Warren of Carnegie Mellon University.  This site offers knowledge to the field while creating an interactive and live model.  An arts organization can produce a similar model around an art work (a living archive) or a performance event.  Or, a group of artists can map a field, for example, the Map of Jazz.

How has your organization used mapping successfully?