Many people think about geography if they hear the term map. And I have often discussed with colleagues how we could georeference Net-Maps to see whether and how geographical location influences network position and power of actors. Intuitively it makes sense that it should, somehow, but it can be tricky to find out which location does make an actor influential: For example if you talk about the successful implementation of a project that focusses on rural small farms, who would be most influential, those actors who are closest to the farms or those who are closest to the funding sources? Are there certain network connections (e.g. chain of command in a line ministry, ethnic ties between president and the people of one region) that can surpass geographic distance?
I have just exchanged emails with a colleague who is planning to draw a Net-Map on top of a geo-map and I am curious how that works. Will it lead to surprising new insights? Will there be confusion because the map becomes to messy? Will the visual analysis be instructive enough to get a new understanding of the connection between social networks, space and influence?