Google Maps new feature, "Street View," has a predecessor in the intelligence community. Street View incorporates stills taken by Google staff into their well known satellite photo/map format.
The CIA has been doing the same thing for years, to help their officers familiarize themselves with cities and other areas they had never visited and that may be closed to Americans.
The CIA would take satellite photos of an area and then create 3D videos. They'd also add to the experience by inserting stills their foreign agents had taken at ground level, or that the agency would have acquired elsewhere. Officers about to visit a new city could then sit in front of a screen and take a "virtual walk" down a street they had never visited, using a joystick much like a teenage boy would with a video game, crossing streets and turning corners.
The technology has existed for nearly 15 years. CIA visualization specialists talked with NBC's Jamie Gangel and me back in 1993.