There’s been an amazing amount of interest in the new InMaps service from LinkedIn. The great thing about this visual feature is that it has by-passed language barriers and circled the world. If you don’t believe me, just have a quick search on Twitter for InMaps – and you’ll find many people, every hour, sharing their InMaps with the world. See the screengrab below with the tweets in many languages in a 20 minute period on Sunday.
It got me thinking. Is there a way of seeing your contacts geographically in a visual form? With the magic of Google (and a little help from Quora) – these things are never too far away.
My discovery was a Beta software called MapMyConnections. It’s a cool little visualisation software that uses the LinkedIn api. See results below from my test of the system. I think it’s another useful way of looking at my Personal Network (although I am a little concerned about the 24 people who seem to be on a boat – or overboard – between Liverpool and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea!)
The application is the work of Jan Willem van Eck. He describes himself on Twitter as “crossculturalist, builds bridges, geo-minded, explorer (strateGIST at Esri Netherlands); social media enthusiast. for the love of geography”. Sounds a great guy – and he seems to have built this in his spare time with limited resources. Take a bow!
Do give MapMyConnections a spin – and please do zoom in to my map and try to explain the 24 connections who seem to be all at sea!
Phil, I am flattered by your remarks, thanks!
I did built this in my spare time (no company time was -mis-used during this production…), the resources are all available on the internet (open api’s). The purpose was to prove a point for a presentation at a conference.
As for your connections from the Irish sea: those connections might have entered their location in their LinkedIn profile, just Great Britain.
Are you able to enterpred your InMaps graphic? I have not figured it out completey yet.
I just realised I might be a “serial networker”, kind of like that.
BTW: do you know the book Linked from Barabasi? Might be interesting for you.
Cheers, good luck with your ventures.
Hi JW. I think it’s a great bit of work. I think you are right that it maps the middle of the Irish Sea as the centre of the UK (don’t know if the Irish would agree!).
I have been doing some random samples of InMaps – and I think you could probably get some sort of patterns. I’m thinking of setting up as an “InMaps Reader” – bit like one of those fairground fortune tellers who reads palms or tea leaves. The main drawback is that it only being your LinkedIn contacts gives a very incomplete picture of your Personal Network. I think if you have one “big blue blob” – they you have clearly separated your private and business network, probably work in an internal position in a big company – and are an introvert! I do want to build a business visualising personal networks – so I will keep you in touch with my findings.
Great recommend – fantastic book, I should revisit. Barabasi was the first serious book I read on the subject. The first post I created on this blog shows a little mindmap with him on. He was originally introduced to me by another Netherlander – Mia de Kuijper. You have some very bright people over there in Holland….
Clearly, those 24 folks were heading over for the 2011 “Sink the Isle of Mann” concert I’d love to put on.