Visited Countries demonstrates the power of manipulating the palette of a gif image on the fly. very cool . Below is my Countries Visited- create your own visited countries map
Global Maps with interaction points are obviously a popular application- with google maps and mash ups and things like this visited countries tool- it points to the fact that as visual people we like to see the world as it relates to what we are doing and thinking (in this case most likely thinking about where to go next on a holiday- i have lot's of options available!)
One of the solutions that i have delivered various times as a simple adoption solution that drives users to use regional news views is a Global Newsstand Map. With these Global Newsstand maps the user clicks on the country of source and the News Page (custom or out of the box Factiva maintained) pops up like this:
Step 1 User clicks on country from map (in this case Japan)
Step 2: User views Japan News Page with local language top publications and can scroll by section and date:
Simple but always drives usage and adoption of the Newsstand feature.