In August last year, we added icons and labels of prominent businesses and places of interest directly onto Google Maps, making it easy to get to know cities when you're on holiday, find inspiration for new restaurants in unfamiliar neighbourhoods, or even just browse around an area for fun. It helps Google Maps to be even richer in information - check out how Sydney appears when you can see all of the restaurants and other places of interest in just a couple of city blocks.

Not only can you see where these places are, but you can click the icons to get a summary of what the place is about and explore further by choosing more info to see business information, reviews, photos, and more.

Today we launched another new Google Maps feature that we've been working on here in the Sydney office, that builds on this feature. Now when you visit Google Maps in Australia, it'll be easier to find some of those shops and other businesses you visit most often because when you zoom in, some businesses will be identified by a small representation of their logo. These easily recognisable logos more closely depict online what the offline world looks like, so next time you're trying to find your way on the map you can navigate more easily using these icons as landmarks. Can't remember the name of a cross street? Next time, try telling someone you'll meet them 'across the road from the ATM'!

Below you can see an example of what this will look like when zoomed in:

As well as making it easier for you to find the nearest burger joint or ATM at a single glance, this new feature helps local business owners promote their physical location on the map via an easily recognisable logo, and therefore connect with a larger audience. Advertisers will pay to have these sponsored map icons appear on the Map instead of a generic icon, helping to generate awareness of their locations among the millions of people who visit Google Maps every day. If you're an advertiser that would like to talk to us about having your business appear like this on Google Maps, please add your details to this form.

Meanwhile, I'm off to do some electronics shopping - seeing that JB Hi-Fi logo on the map reminds me that I've been promising to pick up a new webcam for months now, and I really should get onto it!