Below I've listed a few you might be interested in:
- Do-it-Yourself Climate Change Analysis - Although this chart illustrates the impacts of climate change on the global environment, it was created as part of a web-based tutorial on creating interesting graphics using publicly avaiable data sets. So not only can you produce a similar graph the blog walks you through every step!
- Baltimore Trash Migration - This author collected trash around his neighborhood, identified where it was created (e.g., which store a reciept was from) and plotted it on a map. Also a quick example of local research one can do with little or no training at all.
- Map of North American Accents - Although this author has a PhD in Linguistics, he created this chart on his own time of all the accents in North America and their connections to each other. Also a good example of someone using their current expertise but applying it toward their own research interests (not just their employers).