You’ve probably seen the news, but don’t pass over it without giving it a try. We were actually pretty amazed.
1) Go here: http://maps.google.com/
2) Type in an address. Chances are, the words “map – satellite” will show up on top right-hand corner of your page. Hit the “satellite” link. (Sometimes the satellite image will come straight up)
3) Then zoom in. Next, you can even hit the “link” button, and send someone a copy of it.
Example: Here’s the Mercury News building where we work. For some reason, in this case, the link saves it in a way that it isn’t fully zoomed in, so you have to do the last step manually.
There’s an impressive number of ways this can be developed, when you think about it — when adding in a yellow pages overlay, finding directions to nearby restaurants, and showing your friends how to get somewhere through visual direction, or capabilities to add in comments to the link, through text, audio commentary, etc. More here.
Update: Yeah, that’s the Merc’s parking lot, just south of the pin marker — and it stands pretty empty. No, we haven’t all been laid off. Must have been a weekend. Also, in looking at it closer, it’s interesting to see how Google has slapped “2005 Google” in really-hard-to-see print all over the map — just in case anyone doubts their copyright.