Google has released a browser plugin which allows their popular Google Earth maps to be directly embedded into your website’s Google Maps. The functionality works similar to the Satellite or Terrain maps as an extra button appears which allows visitors to your webpage a view through Google Earth while panning, tilting, and zooming in and out of the map.
The plugin is slow to load and very cpu intensive, however in time I’m sure Google will work to improve this as users become more accustom to expecting this type of mapping functionailty without having to open another application.
This is just the beginning as there will be many more mapping functions added that integrate with web browsers as well as Google’s other browser based software. An example of what can be done with the Google Earth plugin is the Monster Milktruck application. Although a fun and basic game, this serves as an example of the many possibilities of what’s to come.