The Usability News at SURL has a great article about the current trends in SiteMap design. Steven Dulaney’s Blogging Alone has a diagram/image in his navigation bar that makes me want a tool like TouchGraph’s Google Browser for viewing both social relationships on the web, as well as viewing a site map. John McDowell does a great job at demonstrating a static visualization of this approach. John also points to a couple of resources that might be used for creating these visualizations using open-source code including GraphVIZ. Jakob weighs in on the value of the sitemap as a "You are Here" tool.
Remote versus Local Relationships
I really want these dynamic maps to be dynamically generated. The GoogleBrowser idea uses related search results. You could see extending this using links from a particular web site and from Blogdex (or for that matter any recommendation engine DiveIntoMark’s Recommended Reading or Myelin’s Blogging Ecosystem) to generate a dynamic diagram of the social network. Most of these tools have looked at how to access similar content that is remote a particular site. I really want to use a similar style of interaction and visualization for categorizing and navigating document on my personal site. This is very similar to the interface from TheBrain that is used really effectively on KurzweilAI.net to classify and navigate the articles on Artificial Intelligence.