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Windows Virtual Earth evangelist Chris Pendleton writes on his blog about the availability of display advertising on Live Search Maps.

Known as “highlighted listings,” this is similar to the mapvertising Google Maps offers. Both place icons on map locations — sort of a premium placement beyond an organic map listing. Icons also show up whenever users are within a certain area of a map, at certain zoom levels. Lat49 has built on a similar offering.

The highlighted listings still seem to be in a kind of beta mode. They aren’t easily available as part of adCenter, but instead have to be obtained through e-mailing the Virtual Earth Platform Licensing Group (or Pendleton directly). But this should make its way to adCenter soon.

This joins Live Search Maps’ sponsored listings, which place advertisers in premium spots in local search results.

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