It has been a boon to directionally challenged drivers as well as the focus of legal actions raising privacy concerns.
It is Google Maps' Street View, a feature that captures on-the-spot images of streets and landmarks along your driving route, and some of those chance images are odd enough that they have developed a cult following of their own online.
Some of the incredible and bizarre pictures, compiled on sites like Street View Gallery, include a car burning at the side of the road, a man running down the street in scuba gear, a jet flying close overhead and a bikini car wash.
Google collects the images for its Street View feature using cameras strapped to the top of vehicles, and some of the pictures uncovered by Street View sleuths even show the drivers of the Google vehicles paying tolls at interstate exits.
But other images uncovered in Street View are more notable for what is going on around the car. One sequence of images detailed by the Web site Gawker purports to show the many angles of a drug deal going down.
Another seems to show someone aiming a gun at a child, though the weapon reportedly is only a water pistol.