The NYT has a great science article on a new map of the universe from Princeton astronomers.
The 600 x 4200 GIF is beautiful, particularly the fine grained structure in the Sloan survey. start at the bottom and scroll up to see a logarithmic view. Read the article for more info. The Princeton site also has higher res maps, and there's some Slashdot discussion.
I've been on a map kick lately. I just bought The Times Atlas of the World, a giant beautiful atlas with huge amounts of political detail. I'm now eagerly awaiting the DK Great World Atlas, which hopefully has more geographical data.
Maps help me understand how the world (or universe) fits together. Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine is the single thing that best helped me to understand wine. Somehow cementing my fuzzy taste-memory to concrete cartographic representations made wine make sense.
Drawing good maps is hard. For some more on the politics of world map projections, this essay is quite informative.