Google Maps has a new feature as of October 2011. You can now "fly over" your route and see landmarks, roads, topography, and more. You get an aerial view of the route, along with 3D features. This will work with driving, transit, walking, and biking routes you plot. Click the "3D Button" under "Get Directions." You can even pause the fly over and zoom in to get a better look. When done, click the play button to continue.
Note: You will need to have the Google Earth plugin installed in your browser. Posted 10/4/11