These are my Assignment 3 maps from 2007.
You can find other work on the wiki if you need some ideas for your own maps.
Looking back at these maps, there are many things that I would change. I posted (in the limited space) some comments about a few of them. Feel free to look at the others and see what could make them more effective. I think critiquing maps, even if it is just out of personal interest, can be a great way to understand how all the elements of maps come together to be a visual aid for people.
One of my favorite things about cartography is having the chance to hear what others think about what works and doesn't work in my maps. Similarly, I learn a lot about what makes a good map by looking critically at other maps. You'll find yourself noticing all sorts of things that are missing or don't seem to work about other maps the more you work on your own. You'll be amazed what gets put out there under the guise of "useful information". You will also come to appreciate that many maps are in fact great maps that are clear, helpful, and complete.
I actually contacted someone this summer because I was trying to figure out how they had created such a useful detail on a public map. Because it was a good map, naturally it had source and cartographer information, allowing me to track down a person to ask a few questions, ultimately leading to a better product that I was trying to create.