The 8.8 earthquake 22 mi. beneath Chile where the Nazca oceanic plate goes under the South American continental plate affected millions of people in Chile and possibly around the Pacific rim. This picture however is an absolute beauty, if potentially terrifying. News had it however that the tsunami had abated by the time it reached Hawaii.
[click on image above for website]
On the other hand, many were enthralled by the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. [We followed it asynchronously via BBC iPlayer (UK only) both on TV an on line.] Dig a little further and you find this stunning synoptic map: it is both visually appealing, and clever in the depth and variety of information available.
A lot has been written on web- and infrastructure mapping of these two events. These two nuggets were too good to pass up. It never ceases to amaze me what beauty can be wrought from raw data given the right ideas and tools. I look forward to finding and posting some more...