October 9, 2011

Rooftop QR Codes Aim to Infiltrate Google Maps

(By Todd Wasserman |

Here’s a circuitous route to free advertising on Google: An Austin, Texas, firm will install QR codes on rooftops in an attempt to sneak into Google Maps.

Phillips & Co.’s new proposition, called Blue Marble, offers a “space-accessible profile” for businesses, cities, schools — anyone who wants to raise their profile. In addition to catching the attention of the odd plane passing by, Phillips says in a statement that Google Earth has been downloaded 400 million times and “by integrating a readable code into the space-accessible profile, mobile users can access dynamic marketing programs, videos, digital coupons and other content while viewing the specific geographical location.” (Actually, Google announced on Wednesday that the app has been downloaded 1 billion times.)

In addition to showing up in Google Earth, the codes would also surface in Google Maps, which makes use of the former with Earth View.

Getting that done will set you back $8,500 plus a recurring $200 support fee. Those charges include creating the QR code and installing it. However, the program seems best for marketers that are in no great hurry: It takes about a year for the code to show up on Google Earth.

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