Google maps is further improving its functionality with the addition of additional imagery. The company is introducing a new type of images that looks at sites from a 45 degree angle instead of straight from the top. The Google blog describes the imagery as follows
As you may have guessed from the name, 45° imagery is imagery depicting a location from a 45° angle rather than from the top. This type of imagery allows you to explore the sides of buildings and other locations — you can even rotate around a particular point of interest using the compass ring to view it from four different perspectives. To see the new imagery, simply zoom into an area while in Satellite mode. Where we have 45° imagery available, the imagery will switch from an overhead to 45° angle as you zoom all the way in. You can then pan smoothly across the map to get a richer view of the area. Here are a few of my favorite spots:
Only a small number of locations are available at the moment but Google expects to expand this quickly.