To add I will say the the whole database of not only google maps, but the whole google earth system, is just 70 terras. Sure sounds big, but given the incredible amount of images, 70 terras is peanuts. In fact, 70 terras is an amount of space totally within the reach of the average geek at the personal level. With the cheapest hard drives right now being at $25 per terra (on 1.5TB newegg), it would be $1,750 worth of drives. Thow in some ultra cheapo raid cards to handle the 40something drives array and dual core rig, and you can get the storage capacity for about $2,500 USD (redundancy be dam).
Hence, there is a copy of this data on pretty much every google data center to act as proxy.
"Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes