In case you missed it, the Google Earth Beta was released a few days ago. I've been playing around with it and I'm impressed. It is similiar to Google Maps, but is in the shape of the earth. You can scan/tilt/zoom in and out on all parts of the earth using pictures taken from various satelites. It has a seemless design, so you actually feel like you are flying around the earth. You can zoom in on big cities to individual buildings and houses but not so much on areas with less population. They are adding more detailed maps all the time, so it should be interesting to see how this progresses. Here are some of my favorite features:
-Ability to get directions from one place to another (just like mapquest). However, you are able to view the entire area around where you are going, this really seems like it would help when planning a trip.
-3D terrain (in all areas) and buildings (in some areas)
-Ability to see lodging, dining, banks, golf courses, etc. etc., options throughout the U.S. (check out the dining options in New York City!) I noticed it has detail even in small towns
-See all the major roads in some countries
As long as you have a broadband connection and a decent video card, you should have no problem running this.
While it isn't complete yet, I think you can have a lot of fun with it! Enjoy!http://earth.google.com/