I just read this article on Wired on google maps. The article basically states that Googles satellite maps captures unusual events - a 747 landing in Tokyo airport, a icebreaker pushing a submarine...kinda cool. I'm going to spend some time looking for this stuff now - the burning man link didnt resolve for me. I'll try to post the URL's to what I find. I wonder what the most unusual pictures are? Anyone else have neat links out there?
The other thing the article mentions is that every 18 months or so the images are refreshed - so maybe the tsunami picture is still there.
Update: I mistakenly thought I would find international pictures in Googles maps database but the article says that satellite images tend to have these pictures, not googles specifically. I tried zooming in on Sri Lanka, and after a bit, the image failed to resolve, so I guess the pictures you can zoom in on are mostly in the U.S. But the article has a link to the cool pictures such as the icebreaker, the 747 landing etc...
Update II: Brandon commented on this post and highlighted this very cool site: http://www.shreddies.org/gmaps