Time to present some more interesting tools for visualizing abstract relationships. I have a feeling tools like this are going to be much more widely used in the future, and much more intuitive. For the time being, a lot of them are way too slow, and somehow too abstruse.
One that is fast and not abstruse — and has a very useful role to fill is They Rule. This lets you explore relationships among movers and shakers. Sort of like a visual Oracle of Bacon, but for the powerful instead of the famous. Very interesting, although not fully fleshed out yet. Requires Flash 5
There are two similar text-corpus mappers, TextArc and Valence (the latter based on Proce55ing). Valence, technically, is more than a text mapper, but that is one of its tricks. For the time being, these two don’t seem to be so much informative as entertaining, but I can see how visual text analysis could be a serious tool in some contexts. Require Java