Now, while it's fun to find satellite views of your house and work, one of the more useful aspects of Google Earth is not much different from any other online mapping service: It helps you find the best route from point a to point b. However, Google Earth and some intrepid Internet explorers are trying to raise the bar.
People all around the world are creating 3-D models of buildings. One of them being the University of Missouri's Townsend Hall. Teams with people like MU's Matt Schmidt are working hard to create models of their favorite buildings that they can upload to Google Earth.
"We used Sketch-Up to create the model of Townsend," explained Schmidt. "It's cross-platform so you can use it on the Mac and the PC. You can actually get almost a virtual feel of a campus, city, or even landscapes that you might see in the real world."
While a few models are complete, they aren't immediately available in Google Earth. Google hasn't announced if it will ever become fully 3-D, but with the help of some aspiring sketch-up users and people like Matt, we can get close.
SketchUp and Google Earth also allow fly-by and fly-in tours of some 3-D models.