The Self-Organising Map (SOM) has been proposed as an alternative interface for exploring Digital Libraries (DL), 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 and browse interfaces. Several applications show the SOMs utility for this task.
However, there are still shortcomings in helping the user understanding the map– 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. Therewith, the SOM becomes an attractive tool for Information Management.