DJ Patil had posted about the Linkedin Maps on his Facebook wall and it was timely since I had just been discussion network visualization for another project.
I recall mid-90s and early 2000 when this technology was used for visual mapping of various kind but we have not seen the main-stream implementation of it on the web. I anticipate that Linkedin Maps would change it.
My own take away from my network map was:
1. It is beautiful and colorful and is reflective of me
2. There is a huge gap about my network of people who are not linked to me on Linkedin which may prompt me to add them
3. Is this all? Kind of humbling to see that my life connections can be reflected in 8 colors. What about those other colorful people in my life that inspired a different way of thinking.
As robost as the tool is, it is it still reflects the issue one has in professional connections which is that it only reflects the part of connections and contacts you have on Linkedin and the ones you have consciously added.
It would be interesting to see if Linkedin would open this as a API that people can use in contact of their applications and if that would make the map useful and meaningful. Can it be leveraged to clean, sort, prioritize the connections? Would it show the strength of connection? Would it enable people for form groups to communicate with and influence. Can one create groups that have various levels of visibility to others?
Almost seems like the 2D, almost 3D view is not enough to visualize one’s networks. What other gaps do you see with maps?
For now, great work Linkedin.