Social Network Analysis

  • Nigel Waters
Reference work entry


This chapter begins with a discussion of how communications technologies have reduced the influence of distance on the location of economic activity. The origins of network analysis in regional science are described. The importance of social networks and social network science in sociology and related disciplines during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s is explained. This is followed by a discussion of new discoveries concerning the structure of the Internet that took place in the late 1990s. The rise of social media, the continued development of social network science, and the popularity of social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in the new millennium are then depicted along with the most recent research findings that derive from connectivity and contagion processes within social networks. The chapter concludes with an account of methods for determining the importance of distance in influencing social and economic activity in the new world of social networks.


Social Network Social Medium Social Network Analysis Small World Social Presence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Regional science


Social media


Social network


Social network analysis


User-generated content


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Geoinformation ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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