Explore the Network

Below you will find a visualization of selected figures and institutions of the Grand Rapids social and business community to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the community's elite. Though not an exhaustive analysis, this small sample is meant to illustrate the intertwined nature of the city's social networks.

Social connections, like some of the ones shown below, helped facilitate corruption, but also complicated reform. When the city began prosecuting its own leaders for involvement in the water scandal, some men had to face punishing other men with which they were accustom to socially mingling.

About the Visualization

I intended for this visualization to illustrate the type of social connections that may have existed in Grand Rapdis at the time. However, because of this focus, the specifics of individuals are often omitted. If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of these men's lives I would encourage you to explore my sources, particularly Dwight Goss's History of Grand Rapids and its Industries and Albert Baxter's History of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I used tools designed by JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit to create this visualization.

To learn more about the visualization and its sources, visit the Overview of the visuzliations.

I have also created a database of where these men are featured in this project.

Customize the Network

Click on a person, business or group to see its connections. To customize the map, click on the 'x' link to delete a node. You can also drag nodes around, zoom, and pan.


The colors represent political affialitation: Red for Republican, Blue for Democrat, and Green for nonpartisan, bipartisan, or politically unidentified

The shapes represent what the node represents. Stars are people. Squares are business intitutions and cicles are social organizations