The Hive Group - Creators of Honeycomb Technology
have a really interesting way to display information in what they call a treemap - a two-dimensional representation of a multi-level hierarchy. Each data element is represented by a cell. The cell arrangement, size, and color each represent an attribute of that data element.
It's much easier to see and use than to explain, so check out the link and experiment. The population data they're using as an example can be surprising. For example, you can see that Russia is about 100 times larger than Bangladesh, but both have about the same population.