Here’s the company’s Google Earth plug in. Google Earth already does rudimentary 3-D rendering of cities. Companies like GeoSim are already well under way in developing rich 3-D maps of cities for online implementation. And Microsoft is heavily investing in the same thing — even though the mainstream user population is still at driving directions. SketchUp may in fact become Google’s answer to Windows Live Local’s bird’s-eye photography.
When you get rich 3-D mapping up and running on the Internet, there are all kinds of use cases and ad opportunities. Real estate or hotels/travel are two examples that come immediately to mind.