Gang Networks (Radil et al. 2010)

I found this article very interesting, and found the idea of mapping social networks (something that doesn’t explicitly have geographic ties) something with huge potential in many disciplines. The author goes over the multidisciplinary aspects of defining ’embeddedness’ and looking towards sociologists as well as urban planners (I was glad to see Simmel cited). Much in this vein of sociology, this paper essentially attempts to organize human connections to one another into a relational table, which I found quite interesting if not slightly concerning if it were used for different purposes.

Methodologically, this paper embodies all the basic GIS practices of overlaying economic data, physical barriers, and political barriers while also recognizing social barriers and local knowledge of public schools and their influence in the mix. The only thing that I felt could be improved on would be using political boundaries as the boundaries in the final map, and even going so far as using a vector data format. In writing off ‘claimed’ vs. ‘non-claimed’ areas in a hard data format is quite bold, unless gang territories are actually demarked as such (i.e. by street corners).


Eitherway, I found this use of GIS quite interesting, and wonder if it would be possible to incorporate the missing elements like temporal updates with more data. Although the maps resulting from the CONCOR splitting were very neat and had lots of insights.

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