I just learned about the intriguing story of Nathan Smith, a musician who thinks he has found buried treasure. Using Google Earth he saw what he is convinced is a centuries old Spanish ship, reputed to be carrying a massive load of silver and gold, buried under mud in Texas. The location is on private property, so he's now engaged in a legal battle to be able to dig up the site, and take possession of whatever riches he might find.
This would almost certainly not be happening if he didn't use Google Earth. It's an astonishingly powerful tool, and I'm sure there'll be many more stories like this.
I've actually used it to make a few bob myself. See, I distribute flyers through the suburbs of Sydney to promote various affiliate programs. (It's a surprisingly effective method, by the way, particularly for local, geo-specific programs.) I've also done letterbox drops for various small businesses (though I'm not doing that now).
If what I was promoting with this method was tailored more towards young and single people than older family types, I would focus on apartment blocks as opposed to houses. If I didn't know the area I was going to do already, I would log into Google Earth and have a look at it. It was very easy to find the apartment clusters this way.
Have any readers used Google Earth in a similar way? Or do you have any ideas as to how it could be used?