One of the hardest things to do is explain to people what it is I do for a living. How do you explain something that many people haven't seen.
There were two interactive sites that I found over the weekend (I already knew about them) that may help others understand a little better.
The federal government is doing a National Map that actually uses an IMS server to let the viewer play with an interactive map.
There is also a National Atlas that has a user friendly Map Maker feature.