April 2014

Are roofs the new billoards?

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With the rise of aerial images on Web search engines, creative advertising has developed—on roofs.

According to USA Today, individuals and businesses have started using their roofs to get their messages out to the world, who can view these messages on major map Web sites such as Google, Yahoo and Mapquest.

"Many of these messages were originally intended to be visible by people in airplanes," says Chris Smith, a technical specialist for Netconcepts.com. "But the ready accessibility brought on with Internet map applications has increased the practice."

Although some believe this practice may not be widespread, the novelty of it is drawing people to it. Examples include "WILL U MARRY ME" painted on a roof in Long Island City, N.Y., and "Come Downtown and Play" on the roof of a Memphis entertainment complex.

Map sites are even flying planes over cities and towns to take photos of what is below. And though there is no one place online yet to view roof messages, Roofshout.com in Cape Cod and Roofads in Woodside, Calif., are two companies that have embraced the practice.

"I think this shows the creativity of our users," says Chikai Ohazama, product manager for Google Earth.


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