Using Google Maps to peer down from the heavens and zoom into your best friend's back yard never gets old. Today Google further fed our God complex by introducing a brand new feature to its all-encompassing maps called Street View. Though it only appears to be working in major cities like the Big Apple, Street View allows you to drag a little yellow figure (kind of looks like the AOL dude) around the map, and wherever you drop him a window pops up showing you a 360-degree image around which you can pan to see what the figure sees at that location. It also shows you which direction each street flows, and whether it's two-way or one-way.
My overactive imagination explains the technology this way. As you drag the figure around the map, a small hover droid is activated and follows your movements over the cityscape of New York City. When you let go over, say, 436 11th Ave., the droid rapidly descends in front of the Jacob Javits Center and quickly takes a series of snaps around its spheroid body, which are then uploaded via a sat-com link to the servers at Google HQ.
Seriously, it's a pretty trick feature that should make driving to your destination much easier since you will actually know what your destination looks like. Hopefully the feature quickly rolls out in other cities besides the biggest ones.
[Source: Google Maps via Digg]