I was thinking about Google Earth today and the physics of making it web-based.
With the Google/Sun alliance, I thought it would probably make sense to create a java applet for Google Earth. This theory is a good one, and it would really make sense... however, we have recently witnessed Google implementing flash-based technology into some of it's services. Google Video now uses flash to show videos, and AdWords now supports flash ads.
The beauty of Flash is it's ubiquity and it's amazing ability to load quickly in most circumstances. Wouldn't Flash be a great candidate for Google Earth as well?
This isn't an undiscovered project or anything, but take a look at "flash earth" created by Paul Neave. If only this demo would allow you to change the angle and rotate (which flash is very capable of), it would be quite similar to the core functionality of the current Google Earth!
I am quite impressed also with the load time of this project; I wouldn't hesitate to use a google-made version of it instead of "Google Local".