Isaac Kunen from the SQL Server team published an outstanding MSDN article entitled, "Introduction to Spatial Coordinate Systems: Flat Maps for a Round Planet." This is a great article for those of you who are just getting started in GIS, are curious about GIS but intimidated by math and coordinate systems or just plain geeky and like maps. The article will help you get a grasp on different map projections, coordinate systems, why we flatten maps, and how to model maps when transform the data from just data to an actual image. These are just a few of the concepts Isaac covers in the article - there is much more to it! You really will have a new appreciation for what we do to create Microsoft Virtual Earth after you read this!
And, next time you hear some kid say they'll never use math (usually, that guy in high school that's now servicing your car), you can just bust out this article and show him Math really does make the world go round...or, in this case, flat. :)