My @Quora answer to How does Google make money from maps?
Answer by Web Brain InfoTech:
Google will be monetizing its Maps applications and Maps APIs by letting businesses embed their logos on the maps that Google provides … for a fee.
Google today blogged the news:
Advertisers pay to have their company logos appear on the map, and to help you remember their locations the next time you’re in the area. Sponsored map icons are being offered as a limited beta to companies in the U.S. with multiple locations and a well-known brand. Participation in this beta does not affect visibility on the map; the new feature is only available to businesses that already appear on the map, and whose default icons can be swapped out for their logo.