Personal Technology -- Google Earth Thrills With Photos, Stunts, But How Practical Is It?: "A big limitation of Google Earth and other similar programs is that they show only rooftops, which tell you little, not the fronts and sides of buildings. Google Earth tries to compensate by adding featureless 3D-drawn images of buildings in some big cities, but the effect isn't great.
Microsoft plans to leap ahead on this issue. Its Virtual Earth product will include real photos of the fronts and sides of buildings, taken using planes equipped with multiple cameras that capture a 45-degree view. Google says it is working on the same thing, but it has announced no release date.
You may not use Google Earth every day, but it's worth fooling around with just because it's cool."