The election season is a great driver of web innovation, because so many news organizations rely on these cycles for the survival of their business, and the spiky nature of election traffic & news is among the hardest to design for from both a presentation & infrastructure perspective.
Mike Migurski designed a solarized stylesheet for Open Street Map tiles (available on github). In addition to being lightweight to render and easy to read on low resolution or small devices (like phones), these styles are beautiful. I'd love to see more people running tilestache instead of Google Maps for location projects. The same news organizations who have been relying on google for traffic and infrastructure are going to be looking for technology independence going forward — and an open maps component is a huge piece of that independence.
Speaking of maps, don't miss Slate's coverage of David Imus' handcrafted map of the US. Imus worked on this seven days a week for two years, examining (and usually adjusting) every text label, outline, and location. I'm not an über map nerd, but the attention to detail is breathtaking, and the improvements are immediately obvious even in the limited detail offered in the article above. You can buy the map on Imus' site.
I'd also like to follow up on my Mixel post from a few weeks ago. Paul Soulellis has decided on 16x24 prints on rag paper for the presentation of his mixes. They'll be up in Denver until Valentine's Day.