Getting driving directions is surely one of the most often used features of any online mapping service. Generally, those directions consist of step-by-step guides that are then mapped on the 2D map. Google today moved these directions into the 3rd dimension. Google Maps users can now opt to see a 3D preview of their routes. This tool makes use of the browser-based Google Earth view, a plugin Google makes available for all the major browsers on Windows and Mac.
Getting A "Helicopter View" of Your Trip
To get started, just use Google maps to get directions from one point to another and then look for the "3D" button in the sidebar. Google Maps will automatically switch to the Google Earth view and start flying along your recommended route. Google calls this the "helicopter view" of your route.
You are not restricted to just following the route from start to finish, though. You can also click on any part of the trip in the sidebar and jump right to that leg of your drive. You can also stop and restart the flight at any time.