Google added icons and labels to its Maps product for prominent businesses and places of interest in August of last year. Leading up to today, there have been many questions (and even some complaints) from business owners about how they could get their own icon embedded in the base layer of Maps. It looks like Google (at least in Australia) has made some headway in that regard.
Google launched a new feature that builds on the feature, According to the post, "Now when you visit Google Maps in Australia, it'll be easier to find some of those shops and other businesses you visit most often because when you zoom in, some businesses will be identified by a small representation of their logo. These easily recognisable logos more closely depict online what the offline world looks like, so next time you're trying to find your way on the map you can navigate more easily using these icons as landmarks."
Perhaps most noteworthy for Web professionals is that the new feature could help business owner promote their physical location through a logo. Advertisers will have to pay to have these sponsored map icons appear instead of a generic icon, but there has been no word on how much. If you're an advertisers interested in this closed-beta program, there is a form available to submit your details.