I never thought I'd hear myself saying this...but Microsoft has a better service than Google. At least a little better. This article describes how Microsoft has partnered with Pictometry International to provide a totally new way of displaying maps and directions. The company uses low-flying airplanes to capture images at 40 degree angles, providing extremely detailed pictures, like the one above.
And get this. You can rotate the picture to see the same buildings and cities from all angles. It's truly amazing. Microsoft has incorporated these angles maps into it's beta Maps Live service. The maps only cover big cities for now, but Pictometry says they'll have the whole country by the end of 2007. Read the article, then go to Maps Live and type in a big city, such as Philadelphia, New York, or Washington DC. You'll see a link appear that says, "There is Bird's Eye Imagery available for this location." Click on that and explore.
I fervently hope Google finds a way to match this...'cause it's sweet!