Here’s something for all you map fanatics – StatPlanet, an interactive map creator. It’s free, open source software that includes free maps and data sets (approximately 2-4 years old). Besides the map visualizer, there’s a data visualizer, StatTrends, which you can use to create interactive charts from the same data sets.
StatPlanet comes in a web based or desktop (lite, basic, plus) version so you can pick the one that meets your needs. Some versions allow you to import your own data (Excel, csv formats and more…), ESRI shapefiles or work with larger data sets.
You’ll be creating Flash based maps that you can distribute on CD or flash drives or you can embed them in Word Press by following the instructions under the support section on the StatSilk site. You can also export the maps as image files,
obviously losing the interactivity but useful for reports and presentations. Not a lot of documentation (here is the user guide) but lots of examples for inspiration.
I haven’t used it myself, but then, I’m not a map fanatic. If you do try it out, let us know how it works.