Google Adds Geographic Terrain Imagery To Maps
This is all an effort to show locations with more intelligence and context. For example, if you can see where a mountain range is located, the location and layout of surrounding big cities and rural countryside make more sense.
L: The new terrain and vegetation overlay; R: the old look of Google Maps
The concept of maps is a powerful one, and never before have people had such convenient and powerful access to maps with this breadth and depth. A curious mind could get lost for hours poking around different parts of the globe with Google Maps.