Google has revealed how it plans to integrate its AdSense advertising platform with Google Maps, allowing some push-pin graphics used on the maps site could be turned into mini-advertisements.
Google has not set a timeframe for when the feature will be ready to go public, said Andrew Eland, a Google software developer.
Eland spoke of the feature during a talk about Google's new "Mapplets" feature, which lets web developers display content and build applications within Google Maps.
A Mapplet uses two application programming interfaces (APIs) - Gadgets and Maps APIs. Mapplets can be used to show content, such as a description of a building or landmark, and a specific photo, and display these in a pop-up window when users pass over a push-pin graphic in Google Maps.
Other paid-for points could be marked around these customised locations on the map. Eland showed an example of a hotel advertisement that had its own icon rather than a push-pin.
When a user moves their mouse over the icon, information appears in the pop-up window. If users follow links on the Mapplet, "you receive a share of the revenue", giving website developers another way to make money for their sites, Eland said.
Users would be able to set a limit on the number of sponsored advertisements on their customised map and also turn the feature off, Eland said. "This is something you will completely control."
Google's AdSense program, where website publishers display targeted text advertisements related to the content on their site, has underpinned much of the company's phenomenal increases in revenue.
As Google adds anotherrevenue-generating string to its bow, hackers have been at work demonstrating flaws in the search giant's Desktop and Toolbar products this week.