The new interface coupled with street view makes Google Maps even more powerful. It is really awesome and something we always needed...without even knowing it.
Building maps in My Maps is so easy, you could build a lesson, or even an entire unit in Maps. You could even use it as a content management system for your class.
In addition to directions I use it as a phonebook. Punch in a business name or category to see the phone number, map, website and hours of operation.
I also use the walking feature to map my runs and the public transportation to map out bus routes.
Oh, and it is worth your time to check the wikipedia, real estate, photo and all of the other layer buttons. You might well learn something interesting about your neighborhood. I did.
Finally, if you like the street view - check out MapJack, an up and comer who is taking this feature to the next level.