Google plans to create an online 3D map of San Francisco, and maybe other major US cities will follow later. To achieve this they will use special trucks equipped with lasers and digital photographic equipment to map the entire city.
The trucks will need to drive along every street in San Francisco and will map the entire area. The lasers will measure the dimensions of buildings to create 3D frameworks, on which the digital photos can be mapped.
Google's goal is to create similar online versions of other main US and overseas cities. The data will be used for Google Earth (Keyhole).
The Google 3D project would be used to highlight and distinguish the company's push into local business listings — the next big opportunity in online advertising. More details about the project can be found at SiliconValleyWatcher