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Google Patent Suggests Ad Placements in Maps

Google has been awarded a patent on ad technology that inserts ads in its Street View mapping images - suggesting the search engine giant will expand its ad offerings to this popular application.

In the patent application, Google says it will identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in its StreetView images - and then let advertisers replace these images with more up-to-date ads. Google also seems to be planning to establish an advertising auction for unclaimed properties in StreetView, a move that could pose unexpected conflicts if an advertisers places an ad on a competitor's storefront. (via ReadWriteWeb)

A New Meaning for Local Ad
Google's patent appears able to locate a marquis and or individual window on a building and then replace them with an ad. A theater, for example, couldĀ  promote a current play in Street View, even if the actual image was months old.

Map Wars

Both Google and Bing have been ratcheting up the functionality in their respective mapping offers, first with augmented reality features and now, possibly, with ad linkages.

Last month Microsoft rolled out a Bing Maps beta with enhanced imagery and 3-D functionality. Other features include the ability to overlay social media such as tweets on the maps. Google, now, appears to be taking this concept a step further with its patent on ad imagery in mapping applications.

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