The Aspen Moviemap (1978-80) is one of the precursors of Google Streetview and Viewfinder. The work of Michael Naimark, one of the key figures involved in the development of Aspen Moviemap, has continued to explore the relationship between location, video, interactivity, and virtuality. His Viewfinder project seeks to seamlessly Flickrize Google Earth.
Google Streetview and Google Earth/Maps are following two different ways of creating 3D-views of the earth. Google-Maps integrates artificial constructed models of buildings. On the other hand Google-Streetview takes pictures while they drive by car through the streets. These pictures will be combined later by a special software to create a much more realistic 3D-scene than Google-Maps has. Google-Streetview allows the user to walk through the streets by simply doubleclicking. Both projects are still in development, so users can’t see everything in 3D. But the feature that you can go through scenes on your own way and see everything as you be there is an amazing experience.
For example follow the link to Google-Streetview, choose a location from the map on the lower end of the site and take a look by yourself in 3D at your choosen location.
Michael Naimark, “How to Seamlessly Flickrize Google Maps” (Google TechTalk lecture, April 2008):