Visual Network Mapping

As I mapped my networks, I returned to David White’s visitor-resident typology mapping video (2013) to assist in the process.  It became clear quite quickly that I have developed three fairly distinct networks: my professional network as a teacher, my new graduate school network as a Royal Roads MALAT student, and my personal network, comprised of historical connections and close relationships developed over time.  This was not a surprising revelation, as my visitor-resident typology map produced similar results.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the avenues of connection and communication is significant, hence the inclusion of the various digital tools and platforms that connect the nodes of my networks.  Leaping blindly into Kumu to create my map was initially an exercise in frustration, but after a break and a thorough review of the user guides, this became an engaging and enlightening activity.

Below are two views of my visual network map.  These different views are an attempt to make sense of my networks, both in terms of how the various nodes are connected, and the purpose of each node and connection.

This exercise led to two significant realizations.  First, my professional identity has become a core element of my personal identity, and I am situated within networks that are related to my professional, and now graduate student, experiences.  I am proud to be a teacher and a learner, and my work in public education is part of who I am.  Also noticeable is the relatively small number of personal nodes.  This does not mean that my personal networks are lacking; rather, it is an indication that those nodes operate in physical, synchronous moments and spaces outside of the digital world.

These truths will guide the cultivation of my digital identity and presence.  As I progress through the MALAT program, my hope is to create thoughtful and meaningful connections between my graduate school work and my professional work as a teacher in Alberta’s public education system.


White, D. (2013). Just the Mapping [Video file]. Retrieved from

4 thoughts to “Visual Network Mapping”

  1. Hi Amber,

    I really like the way you split your map into two different views and the grouping by your different networks. Your point on the pandemic and the significance of communication and connections are so true. I have been craving connections so much in the past year and the interesting thing is that I met new people in unexpected ways, developing new professional connections as well as new friends because of my online presence. I noticed on your map that you have as one of your nods “Investigative book club”. What is an ‘investigative’ book club?

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you so much for your comment. The IBC members and I have known each other for many years and we designated our group the ‘Investigative Book Club’ as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek title to describe our tendency to approach book club meetings more as murder investigations than literary analyses. That being said, with the revolving door reality of COVID lockdown, isolation, lifted restrictions, and repeat, IBC is a significant part of my pandemic social interactions, and has been hugely beneficial in connecting me to nodes outside of my network when needed. Thanks for the question!
      – Amber

  2. I agree with how you thought to split out the data into two separate views. I did a similar thing because I found that just one view didn’t really show my network fully. Life is messier than just one map can show!

    Lisa commented on my blog that there is a “life cycle to our digital identity” and pointed me towards some work done by Cameron & Grewe here:

    The cycle concept is really interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how I’ve done it unconsciously in my various presences online.

  3. Hi Corie,
    Thank you so much for sharing the Cameron & Grewe resource. What an interesting read, and I am also curious to look for evidence of cycles in my digital presences.
    – Amber

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