During the keynote Tuesday at Esto es Google, I showed a demo in Google Earth demo. In the demo, Polygons showing the boundaries of the states of Mexico were raised to relative heights based on their population. The KML is uploaded here if you want to take a look. Basically, I got the boundaries from Natural Earth Data, and then wrote a quick Python script (it's not worth posting here) that helped me create a KML
which updated, over 10.5 seconds, the altitudes of the polygons based on the population. I got the populations from Wikipedia. is a Google extension to KML that allows you to say "Hey, change the altitude of this whole polygon by X meters" without having to update each coordinate in the element. By specifying that the takes place over a period of time, you get a nice raising effect. And since they are extruded to the ground, you get a 3D bar chart effect. I also move the camera around so you can see different perspectives and polygons that might otherwise be hidden. I have 3% battery life, so I won't post a screenshot, but you can see if you open up the KML file and play the tour.