The last time I witnessed a room of scientists make a genuine, synchronized ‘wow’ was on seeing the extensive ice loss of 2007 during an animation of changing Arctic sea ice cover built from NASA satellites. Seeing changes in images can be so powerful, even when just illustrating facts we already know.
Here’s two sites that let you explore global data sets visually. Go and see things for yourself.. and make sure you share any interesting findings!
Gapminder : Social, economic and environment stats from all over the world! Displayed on a chart or world map, and animated from 1980 to today..