A multi-player racing game that uses aerial images has been released in open beta. It's fun to play and shows what can be achieved.
Real World Racing is a game that is under development by Playstos Entertainment. It is a top-down PC racing game built using real satellite images to provide an "immersive environment".
The newly released open beta isn't the finished version of the game, but with three tracks, set in Rome, Berlin and London, and three modes of play - single player, time trial, and multiplayer - it provides a good idea of what will be on offer in the full game by way of realistic physics simulation. Once completed - it is set for release in Spring 2013 - it will no longer be free, but there isn't information about its final price.
The full game is to have 50+ tracks in world famous cities, 80 different cars with faithfully modeled car parameters, weather effects and "tons of unlockables". This trailer is intended to give you the overall idea:
Among the question being asked by other devs are "where did the satellite images come from?"
Playstos' answer reveals it the images are in fact orthonormalized aerial photographs taken from an airplane, going on to explain:
Satellite imagery for civil use doesn't have the necessary resolution, we needed images with a resolution of 10cm/pixel or greater. We have several content providers, almost one for every country, but most of the maps have been licensed from Blom (http://www.blomasa.com). Detailed information about the copyright holders will appear in the credits of the finished game.
The ploy of providing a public beta seems a good one. Being on Steam Greenlight not only improves its chances of being approved for the Steam gaming platform, tt is also eliciting useful feedback from users and from other developers providing a valuable testing and review facility.