I saw this via James who saw it via Mike Blumental. The original post is here. I tracked this to source to point out how tough it is to know all the places where Google makes announcements related to mapping.
As James and Mike and others point out, this appears to be an upshot of the NAVTEQ/Nokia deal. I suspect we’ll see more “lining up” as Nokia moves further into geo-related pursuits. Tele Atlas owner TomTom is already pretty far into geo.