One of the objectives of the project was to map the social networks that exist in the North Central Region among the economic development community. To that end, a brief social network form was sent out to economic development agents to fill out. The template had a list of key names of people dealing in economic development in the region. Every respondent had to pick out their frequency of interaction with a particular individual and the quality of information exchanged, if any.
The objective of doing this was to understand who is connected to whom and how. A social network map provides an image of the connections at a point in time, but since these networks are dynamic, they change over time. Moreover, a social network map is not just a picture to look at but, added with the social network analysis metrics, provides an insight into how those networks are formed, how dense the networks are, and in case two nodes (individuals) need to be tied (linked), what is the shortest path to do that, who is (are) the bridge(s) between those two nodes. The goal of developing these maps is to improve density of connectedness within the region and community.