Google patents ‘Adwords for Streetview’

Google has been granted a patent which appears to be designed to show advertisements on Street View and can be considered Adwords for Street View. The patent also shows the company is able to determine which part of the image is interesting to user and which not as to determine a possible location of the advertisement.

The patent describes how Google wants to display advertisements based on a location selected by the user. The patent states about this, “the advertisements are retrieved based on the geolocation selected by a user. For example, if the user selects a geolocation from a map that corresponds to an intersection of two streets, the advertisement module may retrieve one or more advertisements associated with advertisers having business locations along the two streets”.


Besides the selected location, Google also plans to add advertisements based on other target factors. In the patent Google uses an user profile as an example factor, ” The user profile may store information such as, for example, previous searches conducted by the user, websites visited by the user, the location of the user, and demographic information about the user. When the user chooses to view a photographic image of a geolocation, advertisement module may utilize the user’s profile to retrieve a targeted advertisement.”

The company uses an example of an user searching for hotel near the selected location, “if a user previously conducted a search for hotels at a location, advertisement module  may attempt to retrieve advertisements for hotels with locations proximate to the selected geolocation. Other information associated with a user may be used in a similar fashion to retrieve advertisements.”


When the system is put in place advertisers are able to select in which selected area the advertisements are shown, but also other factors are taken in account, “For example, if a user previously conducted a search for hotels at a location, advertisement module may locate advertisements from advertisers offering hotel services proximate to the geolocation selected by the user. Other information associated with an advertiser may be used in a similar fashion to retrieve advertisements.”

The patent describes that advertisements might be shown based on the outcome of an auction which is similar to how Google’s current advertisement Adwords works. For an advertisement to be shown in the best spot, advertisers have to make bids on specific keywords.

With this system in place they can also bid on locations, as the patent describes, “the auction may allow multiple advertisers to compete for advertising space on a photographic image of a geolocation. The outcome of the auction may be based on information associated with the advertiser such as, for example, a geographical range, a product or service category, key words, or target advertising demographics. The outcome may also be based on, for example, the pricing model of the auction such as, for example, CPC or CPM, the price an advertiser is willing to pay, and/or the likelihood of a user selecting the advertisement.”

The place of advertisement is also an important issue for Google, the company doesn’t want the advertisement to overlap anything of interest. Therefor the patent describes that it will try to distinct between interesting and non interesting parts of the photograph. As the image above makes clear, Google is able to identify between a landmark and the street on which the advertisement is located.


Previously Google was also granted a patent for displaying its ads on e.g. building and billboards, this patents however doesn’t seem to integrate the ads that heavily in the surroundings. Instead this patents can be considered Adwords for Street View as it puts location aware banners on top of the imagery.

Thanks for the tip and good luck with your exams Bavo!