Greg Sterling  and I were quoted in a news story in yesterday’s USAToday by Craig Wilson in an article titled “Shout a message from the rooftops to the world “, along with Google Earth’s Chikai Ohazama . The article is about how people are increasingly trying to use Google Maps and other online mapping systems to communicate messages or display adsÂ through them.Â PeopleÂ place the messages onÂ rooftopsÂ or other ground surfaces which may be seen via the satellite pix or aerial photosÂ in those interfaces.
Rooftop Ads or “Roofvertising” is becoming more common
I’ve written about this subject before, of course, in:
â€¢ Optimize your roof ads for Google Maps  – which was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek outline for “optimizing” roofvertising;
â€¢ KFC Ad Targeting Google Maps  – which included mention of Yum! Brands’ large ad built on the ground in the Nevadan desert, which can only be viewed properly from the sky or from outer space;
I’ve also got a few screen-captures of ads/messages seen in the Google Maps satellite pix:
â€¢ Fellowship Church’s rooftop logo ;
â€¢ Surname written in trees  in Texas countryside;
â€¢ “Marry me, D ” marriage proposal in a farm field;
â€¢ “Will U Marry Me ” marriage proposal on building roof top;
â€¢ “Come downtown and play ” – Peabody Place’s roof message on their downtown Memphis entertainment/shopping complex;
â€¢ “Thelma Will U Marry Me? ” marriage proposal written along a road;
â€¢ “Australia.com ” paid sand sculptors to write their name on a beach for Google’s flyover;
As Greg Sterling mentions, these sorts of things are more of a novelty than anything else at this point.
I think the practice could be on the increase, though, as people realize that rooftops have become a whole lot more visible from the sky through online mapping systems. Google’s advanced announcement that they would fly over parts of Australia resulted  in quite a lot of people attempting to communicate messages out through the sky. Can you imagine the craziness that would ensue if Google announced a similar thing in various parts of the USA?!?