About Network Canvas

The Network Canvas Software Suite is a free, open-source set of tools for the collection of social network data funded by the National Institutes of Health (R01 DA042711) and developed through the Complex Data Collective, a registered not-for-profit organization. Network Canvas is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the University of Oxford, and is managed out of Northwestern’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

Most current survey tools are optimized for capturing individual rather than network-level data. Those that do capture network data are often tedious and cumbersome. Network Canvas is different. It helps you to capture data about both the individual and their social network through intuitive and engaging touch-optimized interfaces, in a co-production environment. By representing abstract relationships and attributes visually, complex structural data becomes more tangible and simple to capture.

Furthermore, a thorough understanding of population dynamics is vital for reducing the spread of infectious disease and for informing disease control, yet the collection, processing, and storage of complex network and contextual data poses enormous methodological challenges for researchers. Therefore, this project aims to address this clear need by developing and sustaining a relevant, customizable, and user-friendly software suite that simplifies the collection and management of complex structural data. Feedback from social and behavioral health researchers and others who have an interest in network data collection have informed the design and functionality of the suite at every stage of development. The software is entirely open source to ensure broad accessibility and enable contributions from across the research community.

Project Manager: Kate Banner

Development Team: Joshua Melvile (Lead); Steve McKellar (Team Garlic UK); Rebecca Madsen

Principal Investigators: Drs. Michelle Birkett and Gregory Phillips II

Co-Investigators/OSC: Joshua Melville; Drs. Patrick Janulis, Bernie Hogan, Noshir Contractor, and Michael Bass

Alpha Test Sites: Dr. Natalie Crawford/Emory; Dr. Cui Yang/Johns Hopkins

Scientific Advisory Board: Dr. Brian Mustanski, Dr. Richard D’Aquila, Dr. Martin Everett, Dr. jimi adams, Dr. Abel Kho

Project Alum: Bryan Fox; Matt Meshulam; Jamie Chung; Shawna Davis; Elizabeth McConnell; Balint Neray