This morning, Orbitz launched new mapping functionality which leverages the highly acclaimed Google "Street View" product to give consumers a peek at the hotel before they buy. This is a great way for consumers to take a look (from an un-biased source like Google) at what the hotel actually looks like - curb appeal anyone? Finally, you'll be able to tell if a Starbucks really is "next door" or down the street a bit.
This is an interesting application of the Street View and much more interesting than the typical, basic mash-up of Google maps that several supplier.com sites (Hyatt and Starwood, for example - although Starwood has since removed it) have added lately.
Take a look at the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square:
Google isnt perfect, however - witness the view for the Waldorf=Astoria:
Talk about porte cochere! We may have just picked a bad example - many others worked just fine.
You'll have to look hard to find Street View - it is hidden in tiny letters on the upper right of the "map" tab. Once you find it, it is pretty cool.