Social Network Analysis tools

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... part of the technology for communities project,
started off by the authors of [Digital Habitats], Etienne Wenger, Nancy White, and John D. Smith.


1. Social Network

Need definition here of the breadth and depth of a Social Network:   existing AND possible.

Focus on the tools issues.

Uses in communities of practice

Strong focus from a CoP perspective


  • Together/apart, Synch/Asynch:
  • Interaction/publication:
  • Individual/group:

Key features

1. Data input

  • Easy
  • From readily available data sources

2. Analytic power

  • Statistics are key.

3. Visual representation

  • Pretty matters
  • Graph manipulation is an important analytic technique


[several of these are from a com-prac posting by Peter Ryan - pryan<at>ryerson<dot>ca ]
  1. IssueCrawler (proprietary):
  2. RseauLu Software. Aguidel Solutions Analytiques (proprietary): This software can be used for hyperlinkage analysis or other relational mapping and database visualization processes
  3. UCI Net -- a free software available for download at:
  4. Many Eyes:
  5. is powerful and free.

Social Network Analysis tools

These are not automated in any way, but can help a community look at social structure:

  • visone is a long-term research project, in which models and algorithms to integrate and advance the analysis and visualization of social networks are being developed. An important part of visone is the design and implementation of a software tool intended for research and teaching in social network analysis. It is specifically designed to allow experts and novices alike to apply innovative and advanced visual methods with ease and accuracy.
  • NetDraw is a free program written by Steve Borgatti for visualizing both 1-mode and 2-mode social network data. It can handle multiple relations at the same time, and can use node attributes to set colors, shapes, and sizes of nodes. Pictures can be saved in metafile, jpg, gif and bitmap formats. The program reads UCINET system files, UCINET DL files, Pajek files, and its own VNA format.