Have you ever wondered if that "beach-front" condo really is beach-front? Recently I planned a trip to Hawaii and saw one particularly breathless condo listing that described the property as being just 400 "steps" from the beach. Now having seen the location, I think the owner was obviously very tall...

Using the measure feature in Google Earth, you can take a little bit of the guesswork out of finding the perfect accommodations. Just follow these three simple steps:

1) Fly to your area of interest in Google Earth (if you don't have it, get it here).

2) Click the Email button on the nav panel in the lower right, and send the property owner a JPG screenshot of the area. Ask him or her to identify which place is theirs.

3) Select Measure from the Tools menu and choose to see the distance in feet, yards, miles (or even smoots, if you insist).