Donald Clark pointed me in the direction of Blaise Aguera y Arcas' talk at the recent TED conference.
It's less than eight minutes long, watch out for Bleak House, The Guardian and Notre Dame.
Watch it and wonder.
It's the future.
The Photosynth technology mentioned in the talk can be found at Microsoft Live Labs.
Reading Data Mining: Text Mining: Visualisation and Social Media I see that the BBC has linked with Microsoft Labs to trial the photsynth technology with images of buildings from the TV series How We Built Britain (requires software download, doesn't work with Macs).
I suspect it provides Google Earth with food for thought.