Editor's note: re post from Geo Developers Blog.

Our developers often ask about opportunities for monetizing sites that use the Google Maps API. For years we've provided a way to add AdSense to their maps via the Maps Ad Unit, and today we're adding two new extensions to that feature. This means more choices for ads with your maps and an improved experience for your users.

The first extension adds six new ad formats that request a link unit rather than direct ads. Link units display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of your page. When a user clicks a topic, Google will show a page of related ads. Since link units can take up less screen space than direct ads they’re a great option to consider when you have limited space.

The second new extension allows you to customize the design of the Maps Ad Unit. We now support custom colors for the ad unit's background, border, link, text and URL. This enables you to set a color scheme that complements the design of your site.

You can now test-drive these new features with the demo. While the demo illustrates only a subset of the supported formats with a limited number of predefined styles and on-map positioning, you have much more creative freedom over your own ad unit.

When you are ready to try this on your own site please see the developer documentation and Maps API reference for instructions on how to use these features with your ad unit.