The Self-Organising Map (SOM) has been proposed as an alternative interface for exploring Digital Libraries or other big document collections, in addition to conventional search and browsing. With advanced visualisations assisting the user in understanding the contents of the map and its structure, as well as advanced interaction modes as zooming, panning and area selection, the SOM becomes a feasible alternative to classical search interfaces. Several applications show the SOM´s utility for this task. However, there are still shortcomings in helping the user understanding the
ma, which is essential to fully exploit the SOM´s potential as an Information Management tool. There are insufficient methods developed for describing the map to support the user in the analysis of the map
contents. In this paper, we give an overview of existing techniques and applications of SOMs in Digital Libraries, and present recent work in assisting the user in exploring the map by automatically describing maps using advanced labelling and summarisation of map
regions, focusing on text collections. Therewith, the SOM becomes an attractive tool for Information Management in large corpora.