Several years ago, I went on an on-site tour of Digital Globe which is
headquartered in Longmont, Colorado and (as the name implies) provides
imaging services of the Earth via satellite photos.
You can surf to their web site, and see actual free satellite photographs
of your house (or anything they have images of) ... although they downsample
the free satellite images to 16-meter resolution
(here is a link to the image below which is
catalog id=10100100025E4F05 - lat/long is 40.036°/-105.124°)
since you need to ante up the
big bucks to buy the the good satellite pictures as depicted in this
satellite imagery of
BTW, if you want a real-time free satellite photo of my house, this is a clever link that will show it to you ... ;-) And while I did not buy and otherwise was unable to get a super-hires free satellite picture of it, check out what my backyard croquet course looked like on Sep 10th, 2000. And when my halloween decorations were Slashdotted, someone sent me a keyhole satellite image of my house - this picture was almost certainly taken in the summer/2002 drought (more pictures at my watching grass grow page) ... notice the neighbor's house across the street has a green lawn - they were trying to sell it then ... plus I still had a wood deck instead of the stamped concrete patio that I added in 2005 - see my cool deck designs. if you want to look the "other direction" (i.e. from earth out to space), check out these lunar eclipse photos and also the Aurora Borealis from Boulder Colorado which includes The Incredible Hulk!
There are other commercial satellite photo imaging companies around and in fact, another major provider you is Space Imaging which is located in Thorton Colorado not far from Digital Globe - small satellite maps world, eh?!? ;-) Both of these companies provide satellite photos that are on the order of 1/2 meter resolution ... and I was able to obtain some of this satellite imagery as shown in the other links (not even a shipping charge); along with some "interesting" pictures from other sources! Note that the "spooks" still have a little way to go before (ala Tom Clancy) they can read license plates! ;-)
Satellite mapping is becoming more prevelent these days along with free aerial photos and free aerial pictures - Google Maps has a really nice interface, but their image quality isn't that sharp ... yet! And recently, Microsoft's Virtual Earth has popped up which has a little better quality. Finally, here is a rectangular projection with current sunlight and cloud cover.