We can look at the images that google maps holds, but we can't take them and make our own maps, just drop the odd "marker" on them. The government, however, various agencies, hold many maps that could be released for citizen re-use. Or they could even simply contribute useful information to the growing open-source projects out there such as Open Street Map, which have streetmaps that the public can use... http://www.openstreetmap.org/
However, our governments have more than just street data... why not maps of salinity, vegetation coverage, altitude and so on, all in a format that we can overlay on our existing maps?
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