The network of our Hyves friends is shown in figure 2. The yellow house, which represents the four of us living in Groningen, is the starting point for the geographical spread of our network. A single person in the figure represents a single friend living in that place. When a number is attached to a person in the figure, it represents the amount of more than one friend living in this place.
Figure 2: Geographical spread of our Hyves-network (Source: J. Buschenhenke)
The largest amount of friends - 177 out of 362 - are located in the city of Groningen. This means that 49 per cent of our Hyves friends live in our place of residence. A remarkable fact is the cluster of Hyves friends around our places of birth/former places of residence (Emmen, Enschede, Gouda and Zuidhorn). For a large extent, the remaining friends are clustered around large cities which are mostly capital cities of provinces and Amsterdam. It is not surprising that the geographical spread of our network is like this, taking into account that the chance of making and keeping in contact with other people is more apparent in the place where you reside.
The following two figures show the outcomes of the geographical spread of our friends’ friends. To clarify the spread the decision was made to make two maps; one of friends’ friends who live in Groningen and another map with friends’ friends who live outside Groningen. Six out of twelve people who were randomly picked, live in Groningen. The choice to combine these six friends was made because the concern is about where the geographical spread originates and not about individual cases. The spread of the first network can be seen in figure 3.
Figure 3: Networks of the six friends who live in Groningen (Source: J. Buschenhenke)
The six friends in total have 283 friends – out of 527 - who live in Groningen. This means that 54 per cent of their friends live in their own place of residence. The networks are mostly clustered in and closely around Groningen. Besides that, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Zwolle show a gathering of cases. The remaining part of the cases outside Groningen is spread all over the country.
Figure 4 shows the way the networks of the remaining six friends who live outside Groningen are spread. In total 88 out of 615 cases are located in Groningen, which is a percentage of fourteen. In all cases the spread is mostly concentrated in and around the place of residence. This can be explained because five out of six friends live in relatively large places (Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Enschede, Emmen, Deventer). Only one friend lives in a smaller place (Vreeland) and this is reflected in his network; most friends live outside his place of residence, although they still live nearby.The rest of the cases are clustered around other relatively large places, as well as nearby as in the rest of the country. The remaining spread in a network is characterized by a small number of cases through the whole country.
It is interesting to notice that even though our Hyves-network is spread widely, the connection with Groningen is still very present. This is shown by the fact that Groningen is the second city with most cases within four out of six friends. A possible explanation for this could be that these friends once lived in Groningen.
Figure 4: Network of the six friends who do not live in Groningen (Source: J. Buschenhenke)
The best way to get a good image of the geographical spread of the three different networks described above is by:
1. downloading Google Earth http://earth.google.com/
2. and to open the next file in Google Earth afterwards
This file offers the possibility to select each network separately, the possibility to zoom in and out and more.