The G-Econ (Geographically-based Economic data) group has worked on making economic data publicly available via Gross Cell Product (GCP). In other words, they’ve collected data for each 1×1 degree latitude by longitude cell on the globe. Above is a cell-by-cell globe mapping world population. Here’s one that shows world rainfall.
Check out more of these pretty world maps posted to the G-Econ Flickr photo set.