How to use Google Maps 45 Degree imagery
People are probably unfamiliar with this feature in Google Maps. Keep in mind this is NOT for Google Earth, and only for Google Maps. (this is why the help is posted here rather than in the 'Using Google Earth' forum)
IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST be in Satellite mode to see 45 degree imagery. If you are in Map mode, you will not see it.
To start with, there is no way to know ahead of time if there is 45 degree imagery available. The view will flip AUTOMATICALLY as you zoom if there is imagery. See below for a way to TURN OFF the 45 degree imagery if you only want to see the flat imagery. Although Google has done a good job stitching the images together, keep in mind that these are indeed a series of very small images pieced together. This is a sample location. Looking at the building you can see that it has a shadow on both the east and west sides of the building. You can also see the power pole on the upper left has a shadow facing west, while most of the rest face the east. I use this to simply point out for you that you might see some strange things now and again because of this. (like this shadow of a T-38 Talon where the aircraft itself is across the image seam and not visible)
For my example, let's look at the TV filming location for the TV show "Trauma" at Alameda near San Francisco. If you go there and zoom in far enough the view will eventually switch and near the intersection of runways you'll see this:
As with any Google Maps location you can continue to zoom in and out and grab the image to slide around to new locations. If you move too far and enter an area without 45 degree imagery, the picture reverts to flat images.
There are often FOUR different views available at each location. You can change which direction you're facing by grabbing the OUTER edge of the compass in the upper left of the image. Do NOT grab the inner white circle as this will only pan across the landscane. Again grab the outer ring, as seen below in the red circle.
Grab the ring and then rotate it clockwise. You'll see the 'North' indicator flip to the right of the ring. Let go and the view changes.
You can see that the scene itself has radically changed. It takes time for the aircraft to fly its pattern so frequently different views will have changes. In this view, the filming of the episode is well underway.
You can experiment rotating the view more if you like. There is a set of images in each of the four primary directions.
One other thing to note is that the view you see in rotating will always have 'North' facing in the direction (right, left, etc) that the indicator is facing in the compass.
CREATING LINKS: Just like any other Google Maps and Street View link, you MUST use the 'Link' button you see in the upper right.
Finally, if you do NOT want to see the 45 degree imagery at a certain location, you can disable it using the menu on the right. You might see a menu in the top right of the map pane that looks like this set of buttons:
Place the mouse over the box in the upper right and you'll get menus. The menu item that says "45°" and has a checkmark. This menu item will toggle the 45 degree view on and off.
Some people may not have a menu that looks like the previous example. You probably have one that looks like in the image below. You'll find the "45°" option under the 'Satellite' menu in the upper right. You can swap between Overhead and "45°" by clicking on the one you want in that menu. (assuming "45°" is available) Click here to see a sample image of what I mean.
To see the areas currently covered by 45 degree imagery, download the KMZ file from the file section. Go to it by clicking here.
Please see the first comment post for the KMZ for the text list of locations.
I found the following link inside this Google LatLong blog post.
This is a semi-official Google Map marking of locations. It's not as complete as my list since they only mark a few individual cities rather than huge areas. Still, it's a useful thing to keep an eye on. Here's a link to their map. I don't think it's being kept updated. Although a couple of 'newer' cities are marked, there are just far too many that aren't.