With a focus on international development, health, and globalization, Gapminder shows what it is possible for Swedish statisticans to to do with flash animations and time on their hands on long cold nights. You can see founder, Hans Rosling, in action on video and then try it yourself with online and downloadable animations. His most famous video is at now a few years old but gives a good sense of how to use the tool. You might want to check out what he said at the U.S State Department in Washington DC last year and it is instructive to compare with a presentation for an Indian audience: http://www.gapminder.org/videos/hans-rosling-asias-rise-ted-india/.
While data are provided by country, one of the data sets is the percent urban population making it possible to see the relationships between urbanization and many health and environmental indicators. Several tools allow comparison of regions and states within countries for example, comparing countries with Chinese provinces and U.S. states: http://www.gapminder.org/labs/
Gapminder makes the important point that more wealth does not always lead to better health.
This blog owes something to an earlier Planetizen entry: http://www.planetizen.com/node/42744. For more on the various ways health intersects with place, see: http://www.designforhealth.net/resources/generalhealthissues.html