Journalism students at the University of Kansas have a Q&A with John Hanke, in charge of Google Earth. Some interesting stuff there regarding Google Earth’s ambitions:
Question: Do you have plans to add more analytical capabilities to google earth in the future?
Answer: In the traditional GIS sense of analytics, we don’t have any plans. We are more of a spatial thumb-tack wall where you can pin notes and work with information on top of geography. We want to make it easy to share that type of information. We aren’t like ESRI or MAPINFO in the traditional GIS sense. Those companies do a good job at what they do.
Yep, Google Earth as a geobrowser. The entire Q&A is worth reading.