Autodesk Research has an interesting interactive visualization project, Citeology which visualizes citations in research publications.
From the Citeology website :
Citeology looks at the relationship between research publications through their use of citations. The names of each of the 3,502 papers published at the CHI and UIST Human Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences between 1982 and 2010 are listed by year and sorted with the most cited papers in the middle. In total, 11,699 citations were made from one article to another within this collection. These citations are represented by the curved lines in the graphic, linking each paper to those that it referenced.
The application runs as a Java Applet in the browser, where you can select a paper and see the papers referenced (blue arcs) and papers that reference it (red arcs). This would be a very useful tool for navigating through related work.