I believe that the arrangement is also very similar to the rake and trail geometry used on motorbikes and bicycles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rake_and_trail
. Basically, with bikes and the DC10/ MD11, the idea is that the extended centre-line of the strut should touch the ground at a point forward of the tyre contact point. What this geometry tends to do is to try and centre the wheels when they are steered away from straight ahead. When ever the DC10 / MD11 nose-gear is steered away from neutral, a restoring couple is formed. The moment arm of this couple is the distance between the point on the ground where the extended strut centre-line touches and the tyre contact point. The forces of the couple are the rolling resistance of the nose wheels and the reaction of this rolling resistance at the strut. Having the extended strut centre-line ground contact point ahead of the tyre contact point means that this couple always tends to restore the nose-wheels to neutral when disturbed.
This restoring couple tends to increase in magnitude the further the nose-wheels are steered from neutral. Not only does the moment arm of the couple increase, but the rolling restance of the tyres (and the subsequent reaction in the nose gear strut) also increases the further you displace the steering. This is due to scrub forces.
The DC10 / MD11 achieves this geometry by tilting the strut slightly forward. Boeing uses a different approach. The nose-gear struts on most Boeings are usually completely upright. Placing the ground contact point of the extended strut centre-line ahead of the tyre contact point is achieved by offsetting the axle centre-line behind the centre-line of the strut. The offset on the 747 is approximately 4 or 5 inches. Airbus uses a similar arrangement of the nose gears of the A330 /A340. I suspect that the centre-line of the axle on the DC10 / MD11 co-incides with the centre-line of the strut. Thus, the DC10 / MD11 system is similar to the geometry of a car steering system as mentioned by Speedracer1407. The Boeing and Airbus system is similar to the wheels found on a shopping trolley.
[Edited 2007-02-14 13:08:10]