Yesterday Google released a new version of their rich desktop satellite map tool, Google Earth. The new Google Earth has more detailed imagery, more 3D constructs visible by layers, and more control over the exact view of user. You can now fly all the way down to street level and land on the Golden Gate Bridge. You can stand on the top of buildings and rotate your view from there. They've also added in high-resolution street view photography that is popular on Google Maps, but this time you can stand directly in the photos and walk through them with crystal clear resolution.
Other additions: you can now see the date an aerial photograph was taken, and you can also turn on day/night effects to see how atmospheric lighting impacts views.
The downsides: as always, everything only works "where available", so the best quality imagery is only in certain spots and certain cities. As you can see in the photo above, by turning on street view you can actually see bubbles that you can think of starting points for the high resolution walking. And running Google Earth was heavy on my computer because it is continually streaming in high-resolution photography at every second, slowing things considerably.
[images borrowed from Google Earth Blog]