Google Fusion Tables is going to change the way we all interact with data. The site allows people to upload their own data, such as stuff stuck in spreadsheets, and do more interesting stuff with it, such as visualize trends, collaborate, and other stuff that works best when working together.
For example, someone could upload the Minneapolis Police Department’s crime spreadsheets so people can see which neighborhoods are increasing or decreasing in crime. Or filter by different types of crime. I’m working on this. Very close to ready.
Or, someone could get a data dump from the city of property records and view it by properties owned (I’m dabbling with this).
Google also pre-populates the service with publicly available data sets. For example, the map below shows 2007 fatality rates of pedestrians and cyclists by state.
Check it out.