This demo of Parallex, a plug-in for Freebase, shows multi-faceted searches which you can visualise on a map or a timeline. The narrator snidely comments that you can’t do that on Google, but actually you can with Google Experimental, as well as the Google Visualization API. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty impressive.
Common Craft has come up with a way of explaining some fairly complex technical concepts using raw stick figure drawings, cut out bits of paper and Mr. Hand. They do quite a good job explaining things in a clear, engaging way.
The lo-fi approach is brilliant, but the reason it’s really effective is the way they contextualize the technology using ordinary, day-to-day scenarios of interpersonal relationships.
I’ve always been a fan of the New York Times interactive infographics. I’ve just come across some of their recent pieces and they’re getting better, with more interactivity, personalisation and depth. Yet, they remain highly accessible and usable.
Unfortunately, the NY Times tends to hide their good stuff behind a walled garden, so you might need to get a login to access these pages (you can get a login at bugmenot).