Virtual Billboards, Courtesy of Google

A patent filed by Google in 2008 illustrates a process where ads could be placed on buildings, marquees and billboards in Google Street View.

As Frederic Lardinois notes, this could stir up a lot of issues over virtual property rights, particularly if Google leases virtual ad space over existing physical ad space.

Lardinois writes, "It makes perfect sense for the owner of a local coffee shop to advertise through this system, but in this patent, Google also describes an advertising auction. Does that mean that a rival coffee shop could also bid for ad space on the virtual image of a competitor's store in Street View?"

Brennan Slattery at PC World adds, "Google has had its hands on our virtual space for quite some time, but never to this degree. It will be interesting to watch money exchange hands and glitzy signs appear out of nowhere..."

Full Story: Google Plans to Upgrade Old Billboards in Street View

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