For those of you in the Chicago area, I will be on WBBM 780 talking about Christmas Bird Counts sometime this afternoon.
We have been using topographic maps, and aerial and satellite photos, for several years to prepare for our local CBCs. Google Earth has now made this technology much more accessible to the average birder, and hopefully everyone is using the Google Earth maps to plan for their counts.
One thing I didn't think of, though, was that you can actually draw your CBC circle on a Google Earth map. I haven't tried this myself, but Nuthatch has posted detailed instructions on how to do that here.