This image has been (re)created hundreds of times and will have been mostly done better than this. However, as part of my continuing desire to learn more about GIS, art and data visualisation, I thought it would be a very good thing to try to do myself. I still think it looks quite good; very pleasing to my eye.
Google 'openflights images' and you'll see some really beautiful versions of this. I will keep playing with it though - I want to do one of the really lovely 'neon' glow versions. They look great - as well as being interesting. 60,000-odd flight paths showing how the world is connected.
With much thanks to a tutorial from gisforthought.com/.
The more I try to learn about this stuff, the more fantastic resources I find on the net. I apologise for the blatant copying I'm doing, but until I find my feet, I think its best to try and learn from the best (imitation is also the best form of flattery... will try to be more original once I know what I'm doing!).
Openflights.com for the flight data; NASA for the topography (which just gives a nice hint of the geography)