Analysis of economic networks: geographical information systems as a visualization tool

Itzhak Benenson*, Michael Sofer, Izhak Schnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper offers a simple methodology for the analysis of socio-economic networks, aimed at improving the understanding of wider industrialization processes and the potential of lower-ranked enterprises to advance to higher levels of development. It emphasizes the role of GIS as a visualization tool, the human ability to interpret complex network patterns and the GIS advantage of quick spatial investigation. The methodology involves a breakdown of the overall pattern into sub-patterns performed in a number of stages, each consisting of several steps. Each stage is based on a newly selected factor(s), after the application of the former factor(s) has been completed. After the most visible patterns have been removed, the investigation proceeds to the analysis of the residual patterns. The potential of the proposed methodology is demonstrated by its application to the analysis of sales and purchasing linkages of Arab industrial plants in Israel. The network is expanded into the following main patterns: links to metropolitan core, links to adjacent Jewish towns, intra-settlements links and interregional links.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-135
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


FundersFunder number
Israeli Ministry of Science


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