Network Canvas

This project extends our existing work by developing a standalone software suite that will simplify the process of collecting complex network and geospatial data. Through the Network Canvas Software Suite, social and behavioral researchers will be able to develop and administer their own surveys – similar to a tool like Survey Monkey – but with the ability to capture complex social, relational, and geospatial data using a touch screen interface.

Researchers, even with limited data science and programming skills, will be able to efficiently capture, store, monitor, and export complex multilevel network, longitudinal, geospatial, contextual, and behavioral data. Although more than ever before, large amounts of data are produced by trace sources and are available for consumption by researchers, therein lies a paradox. ‘Big data’ does not necessarily equal greater understanding. The software suite draws upon the same technological innovations that have enabled the revolution in ‘big data,’ but focuses instead on capturing data directly from participants in a rich and intuitive way. This allows a more nuanced understanding of both the individuals and the systems in which individuals are embedded.

The project brings together a highly interdisciplinary team across public health, HIV, network analysis, and computational social science, and spans four universities – Northwestern University, Oxford University, Emory University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Additional information is available on our website.

Project timeframe: 2016 – 2021

Principal Investigators: Drs. Michelle Birkett and Gregory Phillips II
Co-Investigator: Drs. Patrick Janulis, Noshir Contractor, Bernie Hogan, and Michael Bass
Lead Developer: Joshua Melville
Test Site Leaders: Dr. Natalie Crawford at Emory University and Dr. Cui Yang at Johns Hopkins University
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA042711)