What's amazing is that this image of Town Center is not based on an aerial photo. When you change the viewing angle, the image of Town Center is reconstructed from 3D modeling data. It's the same technique used to render 3D scenes in video games.
About Virtual Earth 3D
When you view a location in 3D, Virtual Earth 3D first downloads a low resolution image of the area. If higher resolution images are available, Virtual Earth 3D updates the map with them while you view the map. The map view may appear blurry until Virtual Earth 3D downloads the higher resolution images. Here’s a view of Miami Beach:
With the navigation control bar, you can view cities and streets from different heights and angles. The control bar contains the following features:
For information on downloading Virtual Earth 3D (Beta), click here.
Virtual Earth 3D Cities
Three-dimensional data is available for the whole world. However, 3D buildings aren't available for every city. To find out where 3D buildings are available, view the Current 3D Cities collection. Here’s a view of San Francisco — the Transamerica Pyramid is in the upper-left of the image: