I know I talk a lot about Google Earth and Google Maps in this blog (maybe a little too much), but I find both applications very convenient and powerful for viewing cache sites before I head out on a cache hunt, as well as afterwards for viewing my GPSr tracks and cache finds. If you like Google Earth's ability to view terrain in 3D, but the convenience and accessibility of the web-based Google Maps, and wished there was a web version of Google Earth; your wait is over!
Google recently announced the release of a Google Earth Browser Plug-in, which now brings the full power of Google Earth to the web. You can download the plug-in from the Google Earth API site. Soon, you will start to see more Map "Mash-ups" that incorporate the 3D terrain effect of Google Earth. In fact, here's a fun one called Monster Milktruck that someone already put together (note: you need to install the Google Earth plug-in for it to work).
I am by no means even remotely a programmer, but I was able to throw together a simple little Google Maps mash-up with a Google Earth interface showing a few local cache sites in my web browser:
If I can do that, I can't wait to see what real programmer-types start to come up with. Here's a few early creations to wet your whistle:
First Person Camera