No, it didn’t, and still doesn't. Neither 45-degree view nor Google Earth (even with a few 3D building models tacked on) are the same as FlyOver. Google IS working on something like FlyOver, as are others. But 45 degree view and Google Earth terrain and Google's long-time “3D buildings” thing are NOT it. Those are lesser, older methods that simply can’t do the same thing. They have the word “3D” in them, but they are not the same.
Now, FlyOver currently does nothing for most of the Earth! Google Earth at least does something everywhere (more fun than useful, but I’m a big fan). I don’t live in one of the cities included in FlyOver so far. But FlyOver coverage is growing.
Who will get there first? (Truly widespread coverage of high-detail 3D—not just terrain.) Who will do it best? One or both of those will be Apple, I suspect.
Different strokes for all, but personally I don't see a particular need for either a 45 degree or "Flyover" view if you have both satellite view and Streetview available. Unless you're landing an aircraft I'm not sure what that additional view reveals that's significantly beneficial?
Get a satellite view and a street view of the Statue of Liberty -- and you will immediately see the value of FlyOver.
– Alan Kay –
– Alan Kay –