So many great resource sites are on the Internet it's hard to keep up, so when I run across a really great one, I just have to let everyone know about it.
Check out WorldMapper. It takes a map of the world and draws it to represent different statistical information rather than just land mass. For instance, world population. Here's the map for population estimates in the year 2000.
There are thousands of these depicting general and very refined information. Want to see where coal is used most in the world? There's a map for that.
Want to see how many female infant deaths look like vs. male infant deaths in the world? There are maps for that, too.
Just think of any category and you're likely to find the cartographic representation for it. What countries use the most tractors for agriculture? Where does most international food aid go? What countries have the most mercantile and business exports? imports? Yep. There are maps for all that as well.
Once you take a look at the world this way, it never looks the same again.
All the images are available via Creative Commons Licence and must be attributed as “© Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan).” That goes for the map in this post.
Links are available to every map on the site. They also make available PDFs and high-resolution images.
Take a look, and change your view of the world.