According to a new patent that was just granted to Google, the company could soon extend the reach of its advertising program in Google Maps to Street View, reports ReadWriteWeb.
This patent, which was originally filed on July 7, 2008, describes a new system for promoting ads in online mapping applications.
In this patent, Google describes how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties.
In Google’s example, the software could identify the marquis and individual window posters on a theater property and replace them with new information. Through this, a theater could promote a new play in Street View, even if the actual Street View image is completely out of date.
This does open up some interesting questions. It makes perfect sense for the owner of a local coffee shop to advertise through this system, but in this patent, Google also describes an advertising auction. Does that mean that a rival coffee shop could also bid for ad space on the virtual image of a competitor’s store in Street View? Chances are this isn’t quite what Google has in mind, though it could definitely be a possibility.
Photo by americaspower.org.