With tools like Street View, Google Maps is altering the way people interact with their surroundings, letting you see the facade of the store you're about to visit, plot directions, and find a place to park before you even leave the house. Google Maps has also changed the way information is being presented across the web. Since 2005, web developers from around the world have begun to overlay their content on Google Maps, mashing it all up and presenting it in extremely creative ways.

As this trend evolves, maps are becoming the backdrop or canvas for many webpages. We've been hearing from the over 150,000 Google Maps developers eager to monetize this growing screen real estate, so we've worked to ensure that Google Maps embedded on external websites can be properly monetized. If you're a Maps developer, you now have two options for your embedded Google Maps API implementations to earn revenue using AdSense.

Maps Ad Unit - This new Google Maps API feature overlays AdSense ads on an embedded Google map on your site. The ads are targeted to the map's current view and update as the user moves around the map. For example, if the user is looking at Napa Valley, California, the text ads will likely display ads for wineries, hotels, and/or restaurants. As the user moves the map, ads continue to change by location and you'll generate revenue from every valid ad click.

To see an example of this, take a look at ZipMaps, an external Maps API site that presents U.S. zip code boundaries:

GoogleBar Local Search - The GoogleBar feature within the Google Maps API overlays a search box onto your map which lets the user perform a local search on the map. When results are shown, an ad is displayed that you earn revenue on when clicked. Feedback from sites that have implemented the GoogleBar reveals that users are happy to be able to search Google while on their map, and the site owners are happy to be able to monetize this additional service.

Here's an example of the GoogleBar in action on another Google Maps API site called Google Sightseeing:

If you're a developer with an existing Google Maps API implementation and an AdSense account, take a few minutes to add it to your maps to see how it performs for you. Interested in embedding Google Maps on your site? Take a look at the new Google Maps site to learn about all your options!