I completed a GeoVisualization class in graduate school and learned how to use my colleague's code to visualize a SOM in GIS. Here is the link to my final report.
SOM are depictions of n-dimensional space and it lends itself well to GIS representations. It is a trained artificial neural netork.
Geographers at SDSU are using mapping software (GIS) to visualize complex data from crime records to immigration trends or in my case, a series of transcripts from college lectures.