Google Ads in Some Google Earth Panoramio Placemarks

I just realized that some random sample of Panoramio photo placemarks in Google Earth are now showing Adsense ads in the description bubbles. Now that I realize it, I believe I’ve seen the same layout of these placemarks before (but, didn’t realize the ads were there). So, maybe these ads have been appearing for a while. This may be a test on Google’s part to see how ads work GE placemarks. Only a small percentage of photos appear to have the ads.
If the results of this test are good, maybe Google will allow other KML developers to add Adsense code in their files. This might give incentive to some organizations and individuals to devote more attention to the quality of their KML files. Or, it could mean we’ll get even more ad-filled content detracting from the quality of our experience. Only time will tell. Here’s an example ad (seen in the lower center right under the words “Sponsored Links“:

Adsense Ads in Google Earth

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. So Google is using copyrighted pictures for advertisement without permission by the copyright holders?

  2. I hadn’t noticed these, and I find it interesting that you hadn’t either. I wonder what this says about the pervasiveness of Adsense ads. Are they so common that we don’t even see them? Do our brains automatically block them out? And what does this say about the efficacy of Adsense?

  3. Are they really a “random” set of Panoramio placemgarks, or more likely are they specially set up popular sights designed to carry the ads, and avoid copyright issues, Has any GEB reader found the ads added to their image?
    This type of targeting is equivalent to the sponsored links on Google searches – pretty indiscriminate. The next generation is for Google to use all the information they have on browsing behaviour, including the locational dimension produced by GE, to target individuals with behaviiour based ads,

  4. barakuda says:

    Yup i noticed this about a month ago on some of my pictures. Ads are on the pictures that are more recently added, they are on the pictures that have been approved for GE but not officially added in GE. So until the next update you really need to zoom to see this pictures but im guessing once the next panoramio images get updated the ads from the “on hold” pictures will be removed.
    Put this in search 45.008012 19.820836 and zoom all the way until 2 pictures appear. They shod be put in Google Earth on May 24th 2009 but you can see them now, but you really need to zoom in to see them. On May 24th i think the ads will be removed.

  5. Barakuda – that’s interesting, and I suppose small print of any agreement you ‘signed’ to upload your images covers the addition of ads to your images without your express permission in every case?
    But will ads be placed on all images – some of the most fascinating, and often beautiful. are of far from popular places and/or are ‘art photos’, and it is difficult to think of linked products and services which might feature.

  6. I’m curious if anyone has a clue what this very very large triangle is in the desert in Arizona just west of the Toyota Test Track? You can see it from space I suspect. – 33* 44′ 41.27″ N 112*37’57.65″ W

  7. I’m an adsense advertiser and have about ten thousand photos which I have taken from all over the world, including the Geographic North Pole. I have wanted to put many pictures on Panoramo but it takes so much time that I would rather work on my own website at and I am wondering how to ad adsense to my Panoramo pictures so I’m not just burning time pasting photos from all over the world. Does anyone know? Thanks. C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster and Polar Explorer

Leave a Reply