So When Will We Start to See Live BIllboard Ads in Streetview?

Via this Google Maps Mania post, I see that a couple of views of the same spot in Google Streetview show slightly different things?

Spot the difference

Here are the URLs, just in case you;re wondering, with the differences marked…

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=3800+ontario+est,montreal&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=41.711424,114.169922&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=3800+Rue+Ontario+Est,+Montr%C3%A9al,+Communaut%C3%A9-Urbaine-de-Montr%C3%A9al,+Qu%C3%A9bec+H1W+1S4&layer=c&cbll=45.547142,-73.543563&panoid=kcGq_bAKrDDfp-xkyDYuIQ&cbp=12,117.63,,0,8.37&ll=45.547116,-73.559818&spn=0.027831,0.087891&z=14

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=3800+ontario+est,montreal&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=41.711424,114.169922&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=3800+Rue+Ontario+Est,+Montr%C3%A9al,+Communaut%C3%A9-Urbaine-de-Montr%C3%A9al,+Qu%C3%A9bec+H1W+1S4&layer=c&cbll=45.547097,-73.543415&panoid=XHVjf9ort_xyg8aMWVUuQQ&cbp=12,97.69,,0,2.18&ll=45.547142,-73.543563&spn=0.027831,0.087891&z=14

This reminded me of the patent announced earlier this year relating to the placement of live ads on billboards within in Google Streetview (Google Plans to Upgrade Old Billboards in Street View), something that already happens in many console based computer games (e.g. using the services of companies such as Massive Incorporated).

(By the by, Google already offers an in-game advertising product for web based games…)

A little while ago, Google mailed out window stickers to shops that included a QR code, so that people with smart phones could easily pop up a web page for that store….

Google Place QR code

So what happens next time the StreetView car passes by? Could the Goog detect the QR code from the Streetview image and mesh things together just a little bit more? After all, if in-game advertising is as effective as it seems to be, “subliminal” advertising in StreetView is probably also worth a punt.

With AR tools ten a penny now, it should also be easy enough to detect things like in-window QR codes, and use these to key adverts on nearby “live billboards”?

PS and finally: who knew that a shopping app could act as a vector for getting supermarket advertising into schools? Survive an earthquake with Tesco Finder

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...