You can load Google Maps into Quantum GIS (QGIS) using OpenLayers Plugin for QGIS. This plugin is developed by Luiz Motta and allows loading application QGIS spatial data from Google Maps, also from Yahoo Maps and OpenStreetMap.
With this plugin OpenLayers Plugin for QGIS, whenever a user to zoom in / out in QGIS browser, Google Maps on dockable window (called OpenLayer Overview) will adjust the same location as the display QGIS browser. User can save the Google Maps image from OpenLayer Overview as a jpg file and copy rectangle of map to paste into Google Earth as layer (kml file).
OpenLayers Plugin for QGIS can be installed either in the application direct QGIS using the command Fetch Python Plugins or can be downloaded here.