Another cool application of Google Maps is Walk Score. It was originally intended for home buyers. Now it's making the rounds of the bike blogs since The WashCycle first discovered it. Essentially the site measures neighborhood walkability. Top points go to those where you DON'T need a car. It's also a great way to find out exactly what's near you. My own humble 'hood gets an 85 - Very Walkable! Just pop in your street address to get the score.
90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!