If by some genius we are able to recreate a 1:1 scaled Earth virtual reality environment, it would be revolutionary. Although it is likely inevitable. Such an environment would come several years after 2018, since current V.R. environments do not have much depth and is still in its early stages of development. An issue that pops up in my head with a virtual earth would be storing all of that data. Still, if it can be done it could open a lot of doors to both casual and commercial exploration of the Earth and potentially even outer-space.
When we have the ability to create a virtual Earth, it is likely that androids will be another rising technology. I like to imagine combining these two technological advances, using computer ports such as telnet to control an idled android and pilot it. You could put on your virtual reality headset and go see the pyramids in Egypt by simply telling Google to take you there and you will find yourself inside of an awaiting idled android in Egypt. This would make virtual reality directly interact with the physical reality.
Also, since an adroid is less fragile than human bodies, than can go many places that humans can't such as inside volcanos, deep parts of oceans, outer-space where the need for oxygen is no longer a concern. Virtual Reality opens so many doors and I sense that Google will invent something very soon that will drastically change our day-to-day lives. Long live technology.