There was this talk of people painting their company logos and contact details onto the roofs of their premises when Google announced Google Maps way back when. More recently, Google released Google MyMaps, giving us the tools to create outlines of the land and property we own, or where we live, or maybe the route we take when we jog, for example.
“Mapplets will use both the Google Gadgets API and Google Maps API. Publishers will be able to add images and text into them, but it will also be possible to add more complex applications (think Google Gadgets), which will allow for some interesting combinations.”
While this product is still in development, it’s ironic that this one product should see Google finally trying to pull together their other applications, to create something more substantial.
“We can expect more interactivity and some cool features on Google Maps, but since it will be possible to make Mapplets activate on a simple mouseover, we can also expect ads jumping in our faces while browsing the maps.
Just like AdSense, when the visitor actually clicks on the link in the bubble, the publisher gets a share of the revenue.”
I say ironic because in doing so, it’s likely that all of this pulling together will detract from the task at hand, which is you & me trying to find a physical location, an activity that’s quite a bit different to finding, say a news story, a restaurant or a person on the common-or-garden variety Google search.
With something visual like a map, you don’t want to be distracted.
Think of the times you’re in the car, trying to find somewhere. How many times do you fluff the directions because you’re crap at reading a map?
Do you see adverts plastered all over those maps?
You might see the odd symbol which indicates a near-by hostelry, a hotel or a notable landmark, but they’re not exactly in-your-face. They’re informative, discrete and uniform in size and style.
So maybe that’s how Google are tackling this?
I’ve played with the preview Google Map, but I can’t find an advert anywhere.
I’ve added a map entry on Google Maps for my business, Octane Interactive, and I did have my own little symbol, but it looks like the powers that be at Google have dispensed with such visual cues.
But anyway, the point is, advertising has its place, but a map doesn’t strike me as being the ideal venue, unless it’s dealt with like traditional hard-copy printed maps, rather than have the advert get in the way of the search.
Or we might all find ourselves lost in adverts…