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Local ads are on the map

Google has been testing targeted ads on their "Local" service by showing blue markers which represent advertisers.  I don't see any problems with this, it's a great way for them to make money -- and they have said all along we could expect advertisements in the future.

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Google has been testing targeted ads on their "Local" service by showing blue markers which represent advertisers.  I don't see any problems with this, it's a great way for them to make money -- and they have said all along we could expect advertisements in the future. Now they have confirmed they will be using the same blue markers within maps using the API.

I am particularily happy though that it sounds like Google will be offering a commercially licensed version of the API -- sans advertisements -- so that I can finally add maps functionality into a commercial application I have been creating (without breaking any rules).

There are two features Google needs to include in their API to make it better.  One is a geocoding component that converts addresses into latitude and longitude -- avoiding the need for a third party service.  The second is the ability to draw routes given two coordinates or addresses.  Currently in order to draw routes you need to do a lot of manual plotting which can be very inconvenient.

Have you had experience with the API?  What do you think of this news about the possible inclusion of advertisements, and would you pay for a commercially licensed version of the API to avoid them?