The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation just launched an interactive visualization [hewlett.org] that reveals the distribution and impact of their $3.86 billion worth of grantmaking efforts over the last 12 years. Developed by Periscopic, the original design brief contained at least one peculiar request: "No maps".
The "time-series heatmap matrix"-like visualization technique summarizes the yearly (ordered on the X-axis) grants against their monetary value (mapped on the Y-axis) and their relative frequency (brightness). Optional sliders allow one to 'zoom into' specific time periods or financial ranges, while categorical filters highlight specific world regions, program areas or support types.
There is also a "key findings" section that provides some compelling examples that can be discovered in the data.
More detailed information about the creative design process behind project can be found here.