It's unverified, but Michael Arrington from TechCrunch thinks Google may have purchased Vutool -- if that is true, we should expect some new ground-level photography that literally puts you in the drivers seat in Google Earth.
Vutool is a “Google Earth” from the ground level. It is being created the hard way - a battalion of cars are traveling around major U.S. cities and taking pictures at ground level, with 6 degrees of rotation. The company calls the experience “street level immersive imagery.” Images are captured from every possible angle - the default view is as if you are in the driver’s seat.
The company, which employees a small team consisting of mostly Stanford Ph.D. students, was looking for 18 million dollars in series A financing -- but after receiving several offers, they backed down and said they had been acquired. What? Well, Michael says there are "strong indications" that the company responsible for the acquisition is Google.