This likely has more pedagogical than methodological import, but a clever coder by the name of Mike Love has put together a variety of dynamically linked concept maps that (proport to) show the major intellectual influences of a select set of "philosophers, social scientists, writers,
artists, scientists, and mathematicians."
The content is interesting (who knew Neitzsche was so popular?), but what I find especially compelling is the software. Imagine how it might be used, from initial brainstorming to more informed research, with users determining the relationships and embedding content on nodes or links.
Worth five minutes of your time, certainly.