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'Interactive' Geo-Contextual Maps Appear on Lonely Planet, Maps.com

The Travel Ad Network (TAN), a group of over 200 web publishers including BBC's Lonely Planet, Rand McNally and Maps.com, partnered with Lat49 to enable advertisers to deliver geo-contextually targeted display ads across its sites.

Advertisers like American Express, Visa, Apple, Best Western, and Hilton have signed up to use the geo-contextual targeting technology to serve ads to travelers based on destination, demographics, purchasing stage, and location. The example below is an ad for Comfort Inn over Manhattan on Maps.com:

comfort-inn-ad-over-manhattan-map.png

When users zoom and pan through the map, the ads change to reflect his/her interest and intent, so advertisers can reach consumers on different levels, from branding to local. Interactive online "mapvertising" may also prove a boon for publishers, because it doubles as useful content for users.

TAN was founded in 2003 and has drawn investment capital from Rho Ventures, Village Ventures and individual investors. It serves 25 million unique users — one in five online travelers worldwide, the company claims.

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