Google Street View is about the coolest online mapping service to be released in a while, but its imagery is of inconsistent quality. Street View images are full of lens flare, distortion, and poor stitching artifacts. They're good enough for entertainment for getting a general idea of a local scene, but not for much else.
A new company, Earthmine, plans to soon launch an urban imagery system that features much more precise data and visuals. Using laser rangefinding and still photography (instead of the video that Google's current system employs), the Earthmine system will enable not just sharp and perspective-correct visuals, but will also collect 3D data -- the actual survey-quality coordinates of lightpoles, trash cans, storefronts, your neighbor's tree encroachment into your front yard, and so on.