Population density maps tend to be boring and ugly. Róbert Szűcs, a GIS Analysis from Hungary had the same feeling and decided to change it. He took the population density raster available at NASA, did a bit of experimenting with QGIS, then he made a color relief version using GDAL and imported this into TileMill, where he finished the map.
The map can be a real eye-opener for a westerner, seeing the relative ‘darkness’ of the Americas and even Europe, compared to India, Eastern China, the island of Java in Indonesia, or the last few hundred kilometres of the Nile. Also check how Sub-Saharan Africa is rising, with Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania leading the way.
If you like the map you can buy it on Etsy.