If you drive a Pepsi truck to 3800 Rue Ontario, Montreal, it davidcopperfieldly morphs into a Coca-Cola truck. At least, that's what happens if you do it in Google Streetview.
Go to the Google Streetview link and click forward to see the Pepsi truck turn into a Coca-Cola truck.
Heh, that's good.
There must have been an interruption of a few hours to Google's photography, because the shadows and parked cars have changed too.
Yes but don't you find it a little strange? :-).
I emailed Google and got this response:
"Our Street View cars sometimes drive an area more than once. When the collected imagery is processed for use on Google Maps, the system automatically and algorithmically selects the highest quality images for inclusion in the Street View panorama – though adjacent images may have been taken at different times. This specific location appears to be a loading dock, where there are presumably many trucks pulling into the same spot at varying times."
And they're right. You can see that there's a different daylight outside, and the cars on the right changes when you switch between the Pepsi truck and the Coca Cola truck.
But as far as a product idea or feature goes, what if Google were to amend all billboards or other ads, including large truck displays (once identified by their image algos) to show AdWords image ads, cashing in on-click in Street View or just by branding? Then you could really change Pepsi for Cola...
Philipp: I don't see what's in it for Google to do it that way.
Google can overlay an ad anywhere they like on the map, so why should they feel restricted to places where there happens to be an existing ad?
In the future I expect see things like paid-for Coke and Pepsi logos next to establishments that sell those products.
> so why should they feel restricted to places where
> there happens to be an existing ad?
Well, I guess because that's a good place where they would know there's no other "information" there which they'd overlay – nothing but an ad anyway. (Of course, ads are information too, someone may want to see what kind of ads a certain city or country runs.) And it might also make for a very good sales argument to get advertisers: "Want to get on this billboard for 2% of the price? You can, virtually!" Well, or something to that regard :)
Of course, it might be more annoying than useful, in particular if the ads won't blend in. I guess we can hope Google never does this :)