Now the company has taken the next step. At Where 2.0 the company added some new features, collected into Wild Style City, which enable locating virtual graffiti and advertisements onto the imagery. Users can draw right on buildings to express their feelings or artistic bent, just as they would with street art. These, says Anthony Fassero, co-CEO, will lead to conversations, just like comments on a blog.
The new features can be used to hang virtual, clickable advertisements. The ads can be explored by those visiting the virtual world from the desktop or by those traveling in the nearby geography in the real world who might receive a corresponding message via location-enabled service. In this way, Wild Style City can be used to locate hotspots which will be activated when people visit that geography.
While I fully appreciate the use of earthmine as a tool to capture mapping data, its use for virtual and actual location-based ads is a bit of a stretch for me. Still, I do applaud the idea of finding new roles and ways to monetize the very detailed 3D dataset.