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For example, if you search for "thai restaurants near mountain view" on Google Maps, and click on a search result, a bubble pops up with various links, including a link to "Street View".
You can click on the "Street View" link to see the restaurant marked directly in Street View with a 3D marker just like the one you'd find on the map. Clicking the marker displays more details about the restaurant without leaving Street View.
The left side interface is too busy. Some links in the left-hand column will give you the street view option, and some won't. Eg, if you're familiar with map results, you'll know not to click "more info" if you want Street View.
The information flag is going to block your view every time. Sometimes the view is pointing down the center line of the road... sometimes it's pointing at the address you want. Trying to drag the avatar along the street on the map is going to make you wish you'd never tried.
I was pleased to see that there was a video ("Finding a business with Street View (short)") on the LatLong blog page to show you how Street View works, because several maps interface features, particularly Street View, are crying out for video help.
Unfortunately, this video was not helpful. It had no audio track. It had little caption boxes instead of narration, with the caption in one part of the screen and the cursor you were watching in another.
To be generous, I'd call it a work in progress. They desperately need some good interface design.