Google Earth & Maps Advertising Patent Application

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Imagine owning a baseball related website and sponsoring a layer on Google Earth, where you show all of the major league and minor league ball parks, as well as historically important locations (Babe Ruth’s birthplace, Negro league stadiums, etc.). Consider also including the training camp stadiums.

Seriously, ESPN or CBS or Baseball News, or Major League Baseball, please consider doing all of that.

Sponsorship of a layer in Google Earth is one of the items discussed in a patent application from Google that came out last week at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):

Determining Advertisements Using User Interest Information and Map-based Location Information
Published June 21, 2007
Int. Publication No: WO 2007/070358 A2
Int. App. No: PCT/US2006/046782
Filed: December 8, 2006
Invented by Steve Glassman, Joshy Joseph, Bill Kilday, Giao Nguyen, Dominic Preuss, and Sridhar Ramaswamy


In response to a query for information in a geographic region or at a location, ranked ads may be plotted on, or in association with, a map (e.g., as a list beside the map), satellite photo, or any other form of visual representation of geographic information (referred to generally as “maps”).

Sponsored ads might be shown in a dedicated place and/or might be elevated above other non-sponsored search results (e.g., Yellow Page listings). The number of ads shown in the list and/or plotted on the map could vary as a function of the resolution of the map or geographic image.

The ads could be ranked or scored, and attributes or features of various ads may be a function of such a score or ranking. The plots on the map might be selectable to provide a pop-up with further information and possibly sponsored information (such as images, further ads, etc).

Advertising in Google Earth might use bounded areas in a map, or the show of logos and other information in ads presented on push pins or marker icons. Banners, text, images, audio, video; these are all possible ways to advertise on a map in the methods described in this patent application.

A typical ad campaign in Google might include a start date, an end date, budget information, geolocation-targeting information, syndication information, etc. In this system, it would also include map-based location information.

Where on Google Earth would you advertise, and how much would you be willing to pay for it? Consider that you would have to bid against others for certain locations.

Map-location targeting information may include one or more geographic locations and/or areas that the advertiser to which the advertiser wants to target its ads. For example, the map location targeting information may be a specific location and a specified radius of service.

For example, a theme park may have a larger radius of service than a limousine service, which may have a larger radius of service than a local pizzeria. Map-location price information may include price information for each of one or more areas. The map-location price information should correspond to the map-location targeting information. The map-location price information may be a function of a distance from a particular location.

In one embodiment of the present invention, geolocation targeting information can be inferred from geolocation price information. For example, if an advertiser submits a maximum bid per impression of $ 1.50 a certain geographic point, it may be assumed that the advertiser wants to target its ads to end users viewing a map including that point.

Similarly, if the advertiser submits a bid per impression of $ 0.00 for a given geographic area, it may be assumed that the advertiser wants to avoid serving its ads to end users viewing a map of the given geographic area.

Map-location targeting may be one of a number of relevancy factors. Others might include:

(a) a comparison of ad relevancy information to the content of a document requested,

(b) ad keyword targeting with respect to terms of a search query,

(c) user demographic information,

(d) user behavior information,

(e) time/date/season target

There are a lot of fun and interesting details about this advertising system, including a description of how classified listings might be uploaded to this system through GoogleBase.

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4 thoughts on “Google Earth & Maps Advertising Patent Application”

  1. Oh I want to see those baseball maps. I’ve been wanting to set up a site about baseball myself and while someone else will surely have done this by the time I get to it I now have another great idea for the site.

  2. Hi Mark,

    As someone who works in advertising via signs and vehicle banners (as I’m assuming from your web site), which might appear almost anywhere, I’m not sure that you should be surprised. :)

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