The New York Times, known for some first-class infographics and data visualizations, released this thought-provoking map of food stamp usage in the United States, on a county-by-county basis. In addition to the county-level statistics, there are a number of call-outs and a related article.
One feature I thought was interesting, in addition to the elegant interactive map, was the sortable data table view of the underlying dataset. Even cooler, if you don't feel like using the sortable dataset, the designers of the infographic have helpfully provided a link to download the raw underlying data itself in CSV format, so that you can analyze it yourself in OpenOffice.org Calc or Microsoft Excel! Three cheers for open journalism.
This is a very useful interface allowing visitors to visualize all U.S. records of cancer deaths over a 50-year period. Epidemiologists and others can drill down to the county level, selecting from dozens of different types of cancer. Data can be output in a variety of formats, including static image for copying and interactive Flash maps.
The Map Kibera project is an awesome example of community-powered mapping succeeding in a situation where commercial mapping providers would never venture: Kibera, the largest slum of Nairobi, Kenya with a population estimated at near a million. The project will train local residents to create community maps - using OpenStreetMap tools and techniques - and encourage the use of community-generated maps in relief and development efforts.
I recently interviewed Dan Bassill, president and founder of Tutor/Mentor Connection, a well-respected organization in Chicago that provides extensive mentorship-related resources as well as an online community for tutor/mentor program educators, facilitators, fundraisers, policymakers, and other interested parties. Dan has long been a supporter of the use of GIS and online mapping in a nonprofit/community context, and T/MC was providing interactive online maps years before the "Mashup Explosion" of this decade.
MAPresso is a free Java-based utility for creating and displaying cartograms and choropleths, two types of maps that nonprofits can use to visualize their data. Although importing your data into MAPresso isn't the simplest procedure in the world, the resulting maps offer a variety of analytical and aesthetic tools suitable for creating powerful and dynamic maps.