I've finally seen Google Maps for Mobile, a phone-based service that (among other things) lets you select a city and see the level of congestion (red, yellow, orange or green) of the arteries leading into (out of) it. It's extremely inspiring.
Aerial views are a largely untapped source of consumer applications. And while traffic congestion warnings are all very well, what I really want (among other things) is a parking space finder. Continuous satellite feeds (dream on, I know, but Google is amazingly resourceful; one day they may launch their own...) would let Google tell me about nearby empty parking spaces as they become available. The neighborhoods I (try to) park in are so congested that I'd pay a lot for the service--it'd probably still be cheaper than a garage. While we're at it, guide me to the empty areas on the crowded lawn at Ravinia Park and find my car when the show's over. Track my children, follow my spouse, spot muggings in progress and recover stolen automobiles. Send me a nastygram if my lawn is too high or dry or my roof needs new shingles or my pool needs cleaning. Count the number of people going into restaurants and report on the most popular ones. (Though as Yogi Berra once put it, "It's so popular that no one goes there anymore.") Remonstrate with me if I speed too much (but please don't tell the cops). Fight subpoenas tooth and nail. And please, oh please, don't make the data public, no matter how much you scrub it. (Silly idea, really. Who would do such a thing?)