Google enhances the “Places of Interest” layer

Google has just made some changes to the organization of the Layers in Google Earth, as seen below:

new-layers.jpg

The biggest change involves the “Places of Interest”. Not only did it move from the bottom of the list to nearly the top, but it’s undergone some major changes. In the previous version, it had a huge list of subitems you could select. Those are gone, in favor of a single checkbox.
Google has also redone the icons in Google Earth, as well as the way they appear. When you’re high in the air viewing an area, you’ll only see icons for major attractions (stadiums, museums, airports, etc). As you zoom in closer, you’ll see smaller items, such as restaurants and and hotels. There are still a lot of items that show up in the middle of the street, but hopefully people will continue to reposition the markers to make things more precise.
Other changes in the list include:
• Panoramio getting top-level treatment instead of being buried in “Geographic web”.
• Traffic moved from the top-level into the “More” category.
• Quite a bit of reordering (see the screenshot above).
This is the first major change to the Layers list in quite a while, and it seems like it was very well-planned. What do you think of the changes?
[Update 22-March, Google has responded to your concerns about these changes]

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. you can’t be serious.. so now i have to see all the other crap that could be of interest (like restaurants etc) when i just want to see one thing, say train stations?
    simplifying might be good, but this is the worst place to do it, not liking this change at all.

  2. Many thanks for this prompt and helpful guide to the changes – needless to say Google seem to have made the changes without informing GE users n any way.
    Whatever improvements there might be, the removal of the layers within places of interest is a disaster, cluttering the images with a huge number of unwanted icons if you are interested in just one feature.
    If this is an attempt to increase the commercial gain form the business information in places of interest, it will seriously backfire as users switch it off.

  3. While the new “Places of Interest” button is convenient, it was nice to filter what places of interest I wanted to see.
    The biggest disappointment from this change was the disappearance of the US National Parks and US National Forest layers. I used these all the time and they were the coolest features of Google Earth. Can you bring these back in some form or another?

  4. Schools used to be a very prominent part of Places of Interest and now seems to be gone? Really? I thought it was very useful.

  5. I don’t like this change at all – I used parks & schools all the time. Is there anyway to discard the current layer “places of interest” and bring the old one back? This is one of the worst updates I have seen yet.. Especially the disappearance of National Parks, US forest, and camping areas.

  6. Urgh. What a totally backward step.
    It was really handy to be able to see each category of POI separately now, even with the major>minor as you zoom in, everything is now all cluttered up with everything else and you are inundated with all sorts of crap you aren’t interested it. Some previous POIs now don’t even appear at all.
    Lame Google, Lame.

  7. The change to places of interest goes from bad to worse: by removing the sub items – around 34 categories according to Wikipedia (which hasn’t yet been updated) – Google have removed the key to the often confusingly similar icons! An absolutely basic error in map making.
    Time for a rapid re-think. How about an optional whole screen version of the layers panel to enhance their richness and value, rather than dumbing down?

  8. Rhydgaled says:

    I agree with geuser that we need to be able to toggle certain elements on without all the other stuff getting in the way. With the old system couldn’t you colapse places of interest and toggle the whole lot anyway? Was much better before the change.

  9. Google…can you say….New Coke? Places of interest was properly organized, yet one of the geniuses must of thought most users are too ignorant or lazy to filter content. Please, find a job at McDonald’s simplifying the cash registers – you input on Google Earth’s GUI is totally hosed.

  10. An absolutely terrible “enhancement.” If a user wanted to see everything, all they had to do was check the “Places of Interest” checkbox. Now, it’s way too cluttered, plus there’s lots of stuff missing that used to be very helpful. Rollback requested!

  11. I was using Google Earth to see where there is public transportation to jobs I am applying to. Now I have to hunt for transit icons and not just see the nice colored lines of subways that used to be there.

  12. Bring back my google earth transportation layer.
    I mean WTF??
    Now this is totally useless!

  13. I liked the original version better. The original version included lots of stuff like hotels, national parks, hotels, and more. The current version is worse, as it has nothing in there. This should be reverted back to the original version soon.

  14. Ditto. This is a disaster – the Parks layer gone entirely and Geo Features severely curtailed. Hoping I’ll find some other sources for this but it won’t replace the integrated layers. GE just got a whole lot less useful. I put in my request on the GE suggestion page. Everybody else should, too.

  15. THIS NEW CHANGE IS NOT WORKING FOR ME. I CAN NOT SEE ANY NATIONAL FOREST INFO ??? WAS THIS CHANGE AN IMPROVEMENT ???? NOT FOR ME !! PLEASE GO BACK TO OLD SET UP.

  16. Bring back my google earth transportation layer!!!!!!!

  17. I miss not being able to filter Places of Interest. Makes it hard to locate certain places with all the other icons

  18. Gypsy Baron says:

    This change to the POI functionality is a BAD idea!
    You have made it much more difficult to use this tool by shrinking the icons and making them all the same color. Who can possibly think this is a good idea?
    I can not imagine that someone there actually APPROVED this change! Anyone with a bit of common sense and a knowledge of how this tool is used would have known immediately that this was a GIANT step backwards!
    I can’t say that I am at a loss for words here. It’s just that most of those that I would like to use in this case would be unsuitable in mixed company!

  19. I can’t believe this. I need to know if a remote body of water is a created reservoir since BLM records show someone I’m researching homesteaded land right in the middle! I use the POI layer selectivity a TON and the now POI doesn’t have the water features or any selectivity. I will end up just turning it off rather than have all this crap clutter my screen. Goodbye dollars from me finding good places to go and spend my money via the POI layer, when I choose to use it. What a retarded move on Google’s part. Seriously retarded.

  20. The biggest disappointment from this change was the disappearance of the US National Parks and US National Forest layers.the removal of the layers within places of interest is a disaster, cluttering the images with a huge number of unwanted icons if you are interested in just one feature.
    change to places of interest goes from bad to worse

  21. So now when Im looking for public transport I have to enable everything else like restaurants etc. It seems also that you have to zoom nearer than before to get the stations visible. You can no longer see eg. metro/tram networks at a glance. Terrible Google! This is only to force people to see all the commercial stuff even if they dont want, disgusting.

  22. I didn’t really have any use for most of what they changed (there was no “missile bases” section, after all), but I don’t like what happened to the place names. Now, if you just want place names like cities and towns, you click “labels” under Borders and Labels. OK, it includes water bodies and whatnot, fine. No big deal. But it also activates all of the alternate or foreign names for the cities and towns. This makes it way too cluttered in a lot of places. I have no problems with one or the other, but having both arbitrarily active is a pain.
    This is the most irritating update they’ve made since they consolidated all of the Google Earth forums placemarks into one section, instead of dividing them by topic.

  23. Where are the “Places of Interest/Water Bodies”??!. They disappeared yesterday!! Omg, I need them for my studies. This is a nightmare. Wake up , wake up!!!

  24. The new icons are fine, but the inability to select which categories you want to view make the whole thing completely unusable – far too much clutter. Fix that and it will be okay, but as of now the update is a disaster.

  25. I am neutral about these changes (enhancement is too strong word). I see as positive panoramio in main menu and moving POIs up. Removing subitems from POIs is big negative, fortunately at least railway was moved out (bit illogic to more folder). I would like to see public transport folder, having stations only with all POI is bad.
    As best, i would prefer to possibility for advaned user to custom set up its folders arrangement somwhere in options of application.

  26. It’s not bad, actually. But what I’d *really* like is some kind of “what’s this?” tool, toggled on and off by a simple keyboard shortcut, that shows all placemarks (in all layers) that are close to the mouse pointer. Then in most cases I wouldn’t have to toggle layers on and off at all.

  27. GE has always had a remarkable ‘exploration’ feel to it, which could be enhanced by turning on a specific layer of interest to me. Now, turning on ‘Places of Interest’ creates the same clutter of icons that leaving ‘labels’ on in Google Maps does. (I suppose we should be grateful that they didn’t throw the Roads into the same bucket.) In busy urban areas, such as NYC and Boston, there are blocks practically obliterated by food service icons. Entire POI categories also appear to be gone (schools, sports fields, cemeteries, houses of worship) whilst others are made much less functional (the simplified US National Parks). Several diverse categories are now represented by the same small square icon, which wastes time rather than saves it.
    Whatever the purpose of this change, it was not to improve the experience of the average Earth user.

  28. What a joke. They even remove railway layer. What’s wrong with transportation layer ? I exploited transportation layer as one of the places of interest layer I most often had used before. Now they’re all gone. Big Bummer

  29. What a disaster, this was a horrible idea. I thought something was wrong with my Google Earth when I tried using it yesterday. The new icons are also terrible, it feels like I’m using an older version.

  30. I agree with David N.– Unuseable.

  31. I have just finished removing ALL google products from my computers and also pause my ad words campain. Google took a product that was EXCELLANT in my opinion and trashed it in One day. You put a bunch of USELESS Layers and took the ones that were needed most. Shame on you and good bye Google.

  32. I think it is not very well planned.
    We travel often and the filters were of great help to plan our days. Now there displays a vomited splash of icons for items I do not want at the moment.
    I am seriously considering another application and unistalling GE. It no longer performs to my needs.

  33. What a horrible mistake in changing Places of Interest. Now I cannot even tell what type of place is listed and now the imagery is cluttered with stuff I do not want. What an awful backward step in functionality. Did this actually get tested with a user group? I can’t believe it.

  34. Timory Peel says:

    I have to agree with all other posters that the loss of National Parks and National Forests is a huge destriment to the usefulness of Google Earth. I just downloaded this to use on one of my computers yesterday and that information was there. Downloaded for my husband to use on his computer this morning (he travels for work and was looking for NF campsite locations via google earth) and it’s gone! It’s the only thing we ever use google earth for! Please bring NF, NP and the campgrounds back!

  35. Well-planned, really? These changes are a disaster and completely disrupt how I had used Earth for my research. I am an Earth Pro user who will now be switching to Bing Maps (never thought I’d say that).

  36. This is HORRIBLE! It’s taken away a huge amount of flexibility and replaced it with clutter. It’s probably just a way that Google is trying to monetize the product, probably through placement of geographically specific ads or something similar, but the inability to view only what I need is a HUGE negative. And what’s worse is that Google kind of unilaterally rolled this out without much notice. Just one day I could do it, the next day I couldn’t. I hope that Google quickly reverses this, because they have just taken away 70% of the functionality of Google Earth for me.

  37. Ridiculously stupid change. Taking away the option to filter things is about as dumb a change as it can get. The redesign of the icons itself is good, they do in fact look better, but that doesn’t make the whole change less stupid. Now it’s either all clutter or nothing, without any chance of filtering specifics and/or interest. Dumb dumb dumb.
    The logic of sorting escapes me as well. Why, pray tell, has -of all things- Wikipedia, Traffic, and Railroads been relegated together to the barely ever used “More” layer at the bottom? Also, with everything enabled now, I’m really noticing how hilariously inaccurate and incomplete plenty of those Places of Interest are. Sure, if you live in New York or Paris, you might be able to find a pharmacy or a restaurant or do some sightseeing based on this. But travel just a bit outside of a metropolis, and the set of markers soon becomes a bit of a joke where most things are either simply missing or pointing to god knows where.
    The only really nice new thing I just noticed is the enhanced marker for populated places. If you now click on, say, a city name/marker, it shows you not only photos and info, but also the local time and timezone relative to your own time.

  38. In one word: bad.
    In two words: really bad.
    People, in general, are ignorant, just look at all the errors on Wikipedia for instance. please don’t make this GE future too!
    Bring back the old database of Geo Features, mountains and water bodies included.
    It’s not a shame to admit to an error, it is one however no to admit it.

  39. I’m a travel photographer and I shoot mostly National Park Service sites, and losing the layer from parks/boundaries/trails has ruined my trip planning. Not to mention the sadness I have about not being able to dismiss everything I’m NOT looking for in places of interest. This is so counter-intuitive it’s painful. PLEASE BRING BACK A ‘PLACES OF INTEREST’ THAT I CAN USE WITHOUT ALL THE INFORMATION I WISH WASN’T CLUTTERING MY SCREEN!!!

  40. This ruined google earth for me. The inability to pick out a particular “place of interest” makes google earth useless. Can I downgrade until this “feature” is fixed?

  41. Steve Turner says:

    This has got to be an early April Fools joke, right??? Why on earth would the ability to filter POI’s be eliminated !@#$%^&
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE put it back the way it was!

  42. Google, you really need to back up on this change and restore the old Places of Interest. I could filter out the things that cluttered my view, but not now; and places of worship and schools are missing from the layer. I think you should simplify the department in charge of layers and fire the idiot that came up with the idea and the ones that agreed it would be a good idea. Take note; not one of the posts here are in favor of the change.

  43. Bad idea google, “places of interest” is a waste of a layer now. Please return to the exact same old one that you got rid of. I beg of you.

  44. Where is wikipedia?? the most useful feature in GE. hope its only temporary?

  45. Crazy. Why o why? We used the parks and national forest stuff all the time. GONE. Sometimes we turn on food but usually don’t want to see a million Burger Kings or whatever, they get in the way. So terribly disappointing.

  46. JerrryR_PHX says:

    The new “Places of Interest” layer is NOT improved… it is nearly useless. I liked the sublayers – I could see ONLY hotels in an area, or ONLY airports, or ONLY parks, or a hundred other combinations that I constantly use. Now, I can either see clutter, or no clutter. CHANGE IT BACK, PLEASE!!!! It is useless in its new form.

  47. Worst update ever! Their trying to make money with these new pois. User experience is shitty mess.

  48. What college idiot thought this was a good idea? I used POI’s – and therefore Google Earth – constantly for a variety of reasons and ALL subdivisions need to be back. Now it’s nothing but clutter and doesn’t even include things I used the most! *** Have you noticed, Mr. Google Earth, that NO ONE likes your enhancement? *** What a huge mistake.

  49. Not an enhancement in my few, but an over simplification. I don’t think most users want everything on the map when they would just like to see Airports or National Parks for instance. Please go back!

  50. Walk about says:

    I want to jump on board with all the comments, AND JUMP HARD. What a ludicrous change to Places of Interest. Without the Forest Service and Park information as well as the terrain information, I’ll never use GE. Why? I just spent the last 15 minutes trying to locate that kind of information, unaware that it had been removed. Please, please put it back where it belongs.

  51. People have already said that removing filtering is bad. What’s worse is how closely you have to scroll in to see the icons at all, even with the icon size set to large. If I want to see all the banks in a certain large area surrounding my house (three towns), I have to scroll slowly along each street in the route. Doing a search for “banks near (my address)” isn’t optional because it shows me a limited amount at a time. I want to be able to eyeball it from higher up.

  52. Fifty comments from GEB readers, and counting, not one favourable. Now we will see if Google takes notice of its users.
    When I made my first post, second in the long list above, I used the word “disaster” which has turned out to be a fairly mild response to what must rank as the most inept change ever to GE.
    If Google really want to ‘monetize’ GE in this way, surely they can combine the ‘dumb’ one click shows all with a filtering option and thus include a wider range of customer interest – makes good business sense?

  53. Arizona CJ says:

    Why on earth was this done? This is atrocious.
    The “convenient” excuse is a baldfaced lie; if a user wanted to select all places of interest, they just clicked the box. Taking away the sub-menus just takes away choice.
    I used the old system for finding hotels, restaurants, and gas stations. It was good to be able to search for them SEPARATELY. This new mishmash, along with the hotel icons that blend into the background, is atrocious.
    Please, either put it back, or tell us the real reason you did this?
    Time to check out Bing, I guess.

  54. Arizona CJ says:

    In addition to my prior post, I have to add:
    They claim this is an enhancement? It takes AWAY ability and function and adds absolutely nothing.
    Therefor, I think they need to consult a dictionary. Their “reasoning” so far is absurd, as is this change.

  55. BAD! BAD! BAD!
    How could anyone think this would be a good idea?
    Fix this and make a change someplace else.
    Being able to filter the POIs was the best feature Google Earth had.
    I hope you are listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Also, I worked for half and hour to try to fix the problem. Finally I did a search and came acorss this website just to find out that it was changed on purpose. I couldn’t believe that anyone would make this change on PURPOSE! The least you could have done was given a pop-up window to let us know about the change.
    Get rid of some of the other “extras” you just installed and give us back a usable POI.

  56. Hey Google: I want my park boundaries back! Removing important layers like this is ***NOT*** an “enhancement.”

  57. I think this is a really good change.
    Just kidding, it stinks. It is an enormous backward step for Google Earth.

  58. axel ahlberg says:

    This is in no way an enhancement – this is a serious reduction in features – and is probably part of an attempt to go back to the tiered pricing model they used to have. If you want places of interest other than commercial venues willing to pay to have their name listed or for which Google can obtain link through money, then I expect you better get out your wallet. I suppose there’s a community safety issue about identifying schools and maybe Police Departments or Homeland Security is saying please don’t list government buildings or some such – but to just drop this on us without warning is really bad business. I was a paid subscriber when it took a paid subscription to be able to interface your GPS device – but my use is not commercial nor do I need higher resolution printing so when they went to two-tiered pricing from three – free versus commercial It didn’t make sense to me to pay the higher price for a commercial feed. But like many others I used the school information to find where the parking lots were. My daughter is a volleyball player, both High School and Club, and during both seasons for the past 3 years I’ve relied on Google to locate the schools easily through Points of Interest – now I have to go find the street address to find the school. If this was done for public safety they could at least explain that – but just to take it away without explanation other than “enhancement? Who are they kidding? And they’re obviously being very selective with the commercial information – I’m looking at a strip mall in Sherman Texas where we’re going for a college visit and there’s a half mile long mall there which has only one store listed – Target. I don’t begrudge them moving to a paid model if that’s where they’re going with this – I subscribed before and I’ll probably subscribe again when they put out their price list – but to just pull the data without warning is just bad business!

  59. Another problem, the “update” caused me to lose all of my custom icons. Now I just have ugly big “X” marks where my pretty pictures were.

  60. Michelle says:

    BOO!!
    I just downloaded Google Earth 2 days ago. Instantly loved the parks layer thingy (among others). Now it’s gone!! BOO!

  61. Dropping the categories and sub-categories of Places of Interest is anything but an “enhancement.” In making this change Google Earth has lost its competitive edge over the multitude of other internet mapping options for finding places and information. Hope they are listening and bring it back! If not, perhaps we can hope that a software developer from a competitor picks up on the opportunity to fill in where Google created a gap.

  62. “Places of Interest” change is a nightmare! Reinstate the detailed items with filter. Besides, the “new” places of interest eliminate many of the older ones. I used to plot churches and mosques etc. to visit on my travels…… now only a few are shown.

  63. Nickvet419 says:

    Good Idea keeping things organized… Bad idea to take away the sub-layers. I live in Chicago and one of my favorite sub-layers was transportation. I could see the subway routes and easily find stations and where i needed to transfer between the CTA and Metra lines. Can’t do that with this new format.
    If you want to make things better, give us some of the options that are in google maps, like traffic, alter routes, and the ability to move POI’s to the correct locations. Not take out useful filters!

  64. I agree with all of the negative comments about this change to the Places of Interest. As a result I will stop using Google Earth as much as I used to because Mapquest gives me what I need in this area.

  65. Well, I found out that railroads are hidden under the more tab, but still, can we please go back to what we dealt with? There was no need to change and this is a downgrade to Google Earth. Maybe a GE Places of Interest tab would work instead for those of us who would like to customize what we see? I used to be able to see what businesses are near by to areas and now I can’t. It makes fantasy planning more difficult than it needs to be.

  66. I was just looking at what the “enhanced” version of POI shows in my neighborhood. The icons for the 3 restaurants in the stip mall near my apartment are shown 2 blocks away from their real location. Other places in the city show pharmacy locations (Rite Aid, CVS, etc.) but the Rite Aid in the stip mall near me isn’t labeled at all. The ability to choose particular POIs was really nice and it is just sucks not to be able to do that. I also particularly miss seeing the route maps for the Metro/Light Rail in various cities.

  67. I agree, it effectively disables and removes what was working well. Please restore the sub-items.

  68. Wow, I’m glad I’m not alone in the dislike of the awful changes made to Places of Interest. I honestly don’t get the logic behind this change and hope they get a clue and return it to it’s previous configuration. Also I hope they bring back the Sporting Venues layer to POI since they removed it in a previous update.

  69. DISASTER!!! bad idea, bad icons, bad usability – just downright BAD cant see f.ex hotels only in an area without zooming in very close which doesnt give an overview, took forever to find transportation etc.etc. GO BACK NOW

  70. The deletion of the sub-categories for Points of Interest is horrible. I especially relied on U.S. National Park and Forest Service boundary information, plus the ability to find schools and local parks, while filtering out all or most of the other information. I was going to use GE as a basic part of a presentation to a group of 150 people to show many points of interest in relation to Shenandoah National Park five days from now. This change dooms the use of GE for the presentation and I will sure let the audience know why. Please bring back the sub-categoires for Points of Interest and the ability to filter them.

  71. “US National Parks” layer MUST be added back! I can’t imagine that there is any scenario in which removal of the “Parks and Recreation Areas” layers will benefit Google! These latest enhancements are TOTALLY ill-concieved. Google Management: Hold someone accountable!!

  72. Jim Walker says:

    BOOOOOOOOO!!!! Places of intrest sucks now!!!! I don’t want to even use Google Earth now. I’m so pissed!!!!!!!!! You have now idea.

  73. I’m a journalist who covers High School sports. I have used the schools feature in POI to locate schools the past 3 years. I suppose I can type in the name of the school in the location screen but that has mixed results if you do not have the exact address. I’m very disappointed that GE removed the schools feature.

  74. Horrible update! Where are the National Parks trails?? That and the other POI categories were the main reason I used GE. Also bring back Wikipedia! This is a completely awful update.

  75. This is a really horrible change! I’m a scientist, and use Google Earth constantly to locate field study sites. Now, without having National Park/Forest boundaries mapped, I have to dig through maps and attempt to figure this out without positive accuracy. Welcome to 2004, Google Earth sucks. FAIL

  76. Places of interest was the most useful thing in GE.
    Very useful when planning trips.
    I was thinking of upgrading but I’ll not bother now.
    GE was’nt broke – why did you ‘fix’ it???

  77. Enhanced? That implies improving the utility or giving more options. Schools are one of the most useful things for orienting yourself in the landscape, but they’ve disappeared. Commuter oriented things like bus and light rail have disappeared. Everything else is collapsed into a single button. If I want to find a park, I have to know where it is first because the icon disappears when they take up less than about 5% of screen real estate and the name only shows up as a tool tip.
    This is the worst thing they have done to Google Earth since they got rid of the option to turn off the time slider in GE5.

  78. They now show us only some LABELS of “water bodies”, but the missing original “water body layer” contained the SHAPE and location of almost all of the small and large rivers, seas and canals.
    And the new railroad layer now contains only half of what it contained before.
    Google has become too big and too mighty anyway. I hope the Russians, Chinese, Europeans or Japanese will build up an independant system. And I wouldn’t mind if I had to klick on an advertisement popup whenever I’d start that system.

  79. felix e. says:

    Why make something good again bad?
    Bring me back in Switzerland, the cable cars, ski lifts and a lot more back

  80. Dave-ros says:

    Started Google Earth on Saturday and saw it immediately crash, restarted and it worked fine — but it seems the crash was caused by the sudden downgrading of “Places of Interest” to a single option instead of a list of choices (I had mountains and hospitals showing, but not other things). Please, Google, change it back… or does Eric Schmidt think that if we’re complaining about this, we must be up to no good?

  81. C. Headley says:

    You’ve got to be kidding? This is just a joke right?
    The new “Places of Interest” tree (or lack of) is totally useless now. It looks like someone in your organization didn’t know how to drill down a tree view.
    Please tell me you’re bringing back the original or do like Coke did. Make a “Coke Classic” with an option button to display the old key view.
    I can’t use it the way it is

  82. Google Earth.
    Give us our filtering capabilities back.
    What were you thinking?
    Change it back! TODAY!!!!!!!

  83. The downgrading!! of places of interest labelling is incredibly unfortunate. Many country specific information, such as in Germany, seems to have disappeared. Did this not go through QA???

  84. Alec TricFoxx says:

    To the nice folks who make the BIG decisions about the layout of Google Earth: What were you thinking?
    You have proven through organization and teamwork that a 220 foot Mozilla Firefox logo crop circle could be made in 24 hours in an oat field in Amity, Oregon. Photographed from a flyover satellite. Overlaid into an existing satellite shot of the same area, with an aeroplane, cars, and the people who did it in the scene.
    Please just put the Places of Interest layer back the way it was. Very simple. Thank-you, from one of your most avid users and teacher-of-others of your wonderful interactive globe. =^.^=

  85. Is this the case in the Pro version too?

  86. I think the old version was better. The old “places of interest” button was half of the utility of the old Google Earth. Now you can’t find anything unless if you know what the name of the place is ahead of time. And if you know that, you probably don’t need to use Google Earth.

  87. Aaaargh!
    No filters in the POI layer?! And no park boundaries?!
    This just doesn’t make sense. If it’s more difficult to browse for what I want, I won’t spend time looking = won’t plan trips using GE, won’t do local business searches as part of that planning, won’t do directions searches. I’ll bring back my search data if GE bring back the layers!

  88. I can not get forest service, state/national park, and wildlife refuge boundaries anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is terrible!!! Why was this removed!!! I have wanted Google Earth to include a Wilderness boundaries layer for years now but it looks like that will never happen. Please PLEASE PLEASE bring back the park and forest service boundaries layer!!!

  89. Totally unbelievable that the National Forests and National Parks layer is gone. Makes it pretty much worthless for any type of environmental work. Not a very “genius” move folks.

  90. THE CHANGE IS OK, BUT PLEASE BRING BACK THE DIFFERENT COLOURED ICONS. IE; HOTELS RED, BARS WHITE ETC. ETC.

  91. Disaster. National Parks gone, other useful features gone – Google should be working to fix the functionality of Earth in Windows 7 rather than spending its time breaking things that were already fine.

  92. I always looked forward to every upgrade to Google Earth. Always had more functionality and layers than the last. WHOA…WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? The POIs can’t be filtered? National Park layers gone? I guess nobody else cares since I’m the only one complaining. Oooops, I wasn’t zoomed in far enough…didn’t see y’all.

  93. POI Change is totally unacceptable. WHO do you think your users are? NOT folks who can’t manage information. NOT folks that need a MapQuest (no offense, just a different market) simple simple interface. NO, we need the layers and the control that GE, until now, provided. This is one of the few times when you really MUST backtrack and add back in the Parks, Forests, National Parks and other POI choices (Food, Beds, Banks etc.) that your user community relies on you for. Don’t make me start using my other mapping software again!

  94. Terrible idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Big step backwards. Bring back the old way! Now you pick what is of interest and not me. I can’t look for what I am looking for and my screen is cluttered up with stuff I am not looking for.
    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  95. How is the new POI layer in any way, shape or form a good idea? There is certainly no benefit for the user.

  96. I just discovered the changes and am extremely disappointed in the taking away of features and control that obviously many people found useful and valuable. Bring back individual layers such as parks and campgrounds please! I agree with all the above comments.

  97. Yet another ill conceived “enhancement” by Google. I don’t want to see a billion icons for things I don’t care about. I only want to see the icons for the places I am interested it. I want the borders and trails back for National Parks, Forests, and Refuges. Park, Forest, and Refuge borders and trails was one of my favorite features. It would also be nice if National Monuments were added to this list.
    Long story short, this is a big step backward in usability for Google Earth. People who wanted it all could just check the top level box and ignore the subsections, while those with specific interests could reduce visual clutter and focus on what they wanted to see. How is this even defensible as a user friendly change?

  98. Google, please bring NPS trails back. Do you want hikers to get lost and die?

  99. This can’t be serious, this is the worst step in google earth updates I’ve ever seen. I always use the POI layer in a specific set all the time, there’s just too much stuff in there to see all at one time. Parks, water/rivers, railroad, etc were some of the things that I had on all the time so as to use the map as if it were as close to all geographical matters on screen. Now it all has to be on in order to see anything. Also when traveling used to use the Hotels layer on the laptop just to see that in a hurry, not anymore. Not to mention, I can’t even find a place to see water bodies at all, where is it?
    Google, read up on everyone’s displeasure with this matter, BRING IT BACK, PLEASE!

  100. We are getting ready to take a trip and wanted to see where a church might be and that seems to have completely disappeared from Google Earth. Can not see to find a way to turn it on. Thanks a lot.

  101. This change sucks! Google, switch it back to how it was, this is nearly useless the way it is now.

  102. This is ridiculous! The transportation layer was one of my favs. We want them back !

  103. Simplified? Sorry, from my viewpoint the layers hve been “Dumbed-Down”. The Symbology is indeed much better but that was needed! The simplification was not. Many geographic features like water features, schools, churches and others now are nearly impossible to find and identify. More was lost than gained except perhaps marketing features.

  104. What have you done? I want the old POI back now Please.

  105. Gypsy Baron says:

    Over on the Google Earth “help” site someone posted a link as the best place to leave a comment on this issue. There is a single line dialog box labeled “I have another idea”. Put, as a minimum, “Please restore the Points of Interest sub-layers”.
    I’m not sure if a longer reply is possible but I
    made the above “suggestion” and then copied and pasted a multi-line post that I made in the help forum into that single line dialog box for a second “idea”.
    Here’s the link. Everyone above that posted here should also go there since this is apparently not an official GE blog and those with the power to make changes may not be aware of our collective rage over the castration of the POI layer!
    http://earth.google.com/support/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=suggestions.cs#

  106. Etienne Plante says:

    What a deception of not being able to filter PLACES OF INTEREST. It was my favorite feature and now it is a nightmare. Please put it back as it was, filtering every single item.

  107. Sorry but you just took 3 steeps backward. Ive been doing research for my retirement and relocation for about a year now and 50% of that is now lost. I sorry that someone would need to have every thing showing on the map. Please return your greate map to it orig. state. It work great then it dose not work now, it’s just another map like the others……

  108. You have just removed about 90% of the reason I used (past tense if you will note) Google Earth. What give, have you never heard the old slogan about if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? This is one serious blunder folks, be as smart as you thought you were when you made this change and put it back the way it was.

  109. Bill Riker says:

    I’m not normally one to criticize changes just because they force me to do things differently. So after hearing about this update, I launched GE with an open mind. I really, really wanted to find something good to say about this “enhancement” but after several hours of tinkering with the new layers, I can only confirm what just about everybody else has said. This is by far and away the worst update of any piece of software I have ever seen. I can take almost any amount of re-organizing, but removing essential features? What is going on here? If, as many suspect, this is a move to force people to upgrade to Pro – which I could understand – please, Google, just say so, and quote a reasonable price for the full-featured version.

  110. Moter Pent says:

    Reorganize if you must but please don’t take away key layers such as national forest objects (names, bodies of water etc.)
    At least not without some explanation of why they have been removed or how we might obtain them in the future.

  111. The Dude says:

    It seems like Google has taken a page from the Microsoft procedure book: Take a useful feature on a program that everyone is familiar with, remove most of the useful aspects, tinker with the controls and appearance so that everyone used to using it is thoroughly confused, and then imply that these changes are beneficial, i.e. an “enhancement.”
    Bring back the old “Places of Interest” menu! Especially the “Parks and Recreation Areas,” which was very useful (some of the parks still show up after the “enhancement”, but it’s only points–the borders of the parks are not visible).
    My god, the quality of free software is getting worse every day! :)
    (Google Team: thanks for making Google Earth, it’s a great program! But we miss the “Places of Interest” menu).

  112. First off, Google earth blows my mind. It’s amazing. However, your recent upgrade was hardly an upgrade. I been looking for three days for the summit and river bed labels/names and they are gone. Also, the National and State Parks layer is missing. Bring them back. It will make our lives so much easier. Thanks you.

  113. Patricia says:

    When I opened Google Earth today I could have cried. I take alot of trips and used it to plan my train and transportation routes, as well as find hotels and any tourist attractions. I tried to use the new one, but it was of no use to me. So irritating. Google Earth is now completely useless to me and I will no longer be using it; I would PAY good money just to get the old one back because this new version is so useless. Did I mention how useless Google earth is now? I hope the programmers reading this get a clue . . . I wonder if there is a competing program online out there that I don’t know about and could use instead. BRING THE OLD GOOGLE EARTH BACK!!!
    Here is an official google post that you can complain in:
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/earth/thread?hl=en&tid=2eb2fc070f0e0d1c

  114. Does anyone know, how to get in contact with Google to suggest to restore these sub-layers? I sent a mail via https://earth.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=data&hl=de but I’m not sure, if it’s the right way.

  115. ad_verbum says:

    What has happend with geographic web layers set?
    It was very important one!

  116. Bring Back Filter says:

    Please send a kind message to Grand Wizard asking for Google to bring back the Places of Interest filter. Be respectful as reasonable people listen to reasonable requests.
    You can send a PM to Grand Wizard at the following link:
    http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=955899&an=6#Post955899
    Thanks,
    The Bring Back “Places of Interest” Filter campaign

  117. I CANT BELIEVE!! GO back, this change on place of interest is a lost of time, and information!!!
    I think old options are million places best!!

  118. Mark in Tampa says:

    I don’t like this new layer, since it does not allow one to choose specific places of interest. In particular, Places of Worship, which I have used extensively for an exercise in one of the classes I teach, is now gone (and Google had already selectively removed some of this layer in certain cities). If this level of detail is not going to be organized/classified, no one is going to use it.

  119. This is a horrible loss of function! I can’t find simple things like train lines, airports, or any of the things I need to search for. The resulting clutter of garbage is distracting and annoying (do I really want to always see wikipedia icons all over the place?)
    I hate screaming but WHAT PROBLEM WAS REMOVING USEFUL INFORMATION SUPPOSED TO SOLVE AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET IT BACK? Seeing icons at some mystery zoom level is utterly useless. This looks like something that was done because the programmer thought it was a neat feature rather than because there was any discernible benefit. PLEASE – give us back our data and our means of accessing it EASILY.
    Please excuse the excited tone of this post but it is borne of *many* hours of frustration brought on by these new changes.

  120. Put the individual Layers back in the “Places of Interest” please! Your Layers section has become a web-linka mess and a freaking marketing/sales nightmare. Your users are not just interested in all the other content and businesses to which you can link.
    -C’mon – Thought you guys were about options. It appears you are just proving your sellout nature.

  121. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO!
    What are you doing Google Earth????? Are you kidding me????
    “Points of Interest” needs to be selectable! I cannot find a hotel from an airport! My productivity has just been severely hampered.
    Give us back the sub menus for Points of Interest.
    And before you make such a wholesale change to the program, you need to know your users! Take a poll…….ask a question…..research it first!
    Good gawd……please rethink this decision!

  122. POPULATED PLACES – an earlier post pointed out that the red dots had been reactivated. A step in the right direction? You can now get the time at the dot, and … er … not the population, and not much else, at least where I am in the UK.
    The pop ups seem to contain an unthinking automated sweep of whatever lies around them in Google databases, so there is an eclectic mish mash of largely trivia, often highly subjective and inaccurate. Best to go direct to ‘i’, ‘W’ and Panorimio icons for information, which fortunately have survived “enhancement”.

  123. Doug Teten says:

    Please put the individual layers back. It was one of the best features! It’s enough to drive someone to Bing! In fact, I like their birds eye view quite a bit, but always depended on Google to find exactly what I was looking for. Their individual search is mostly advertising and grossly incomplete.

  124. A very retrograde innovation. It only causes confusion and serves no purpose to the users.
    Please bring back the sub-layers.

  125. Ron Shaw says:

    Schools no longer show up in places of interest. How do I get these to show up again? I liked the old Layers menu much better.

  126. I’m with the others. I’m using GE to try and find a place to live, and I want to see train stations and schools, and that’s it. That was really handy, and now it’s a pain. When I want tourist attractions, I’d like to be ale to turn them on.

  127. This is horrible. Why would you remove things like State Park boundaries and national wildlife refuges from the options? Places of Interest was great and being able to choose which ones you see was too.
    IT IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO EVEN SHOW IN GOOGLE MAPS! Why would you remove it from Google Earth?

  128. Poor changes! Now I can not see the metro color line and can not filter the plances of interest. The same color icon make it hard to sport anything. Bad moves!! I want the old version back.

  129. Mark Geary says:

    I preferred the various folders within the “Places of Interest”, so I could turn on that which I was interested in, and turn off all the others, which amounted to clutter for the purpose I was using the active folders. Now, I don’t have that ability anymore. This is not a positive step, in my opinion.

  130. A downgrade, a backwards step and a huge mistake.
    Now everything that was so useful about GE has turned into an unmanageable sludge of information.
    Not happy.

  131. So REMOVING the ability to show what you want is now an “enhancement”??

  132. Google has noticed all of your comments, and has just issued a brief statement:
    http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2010/03/about_the_changes_to_the_places_of.html

  133. You removed the Transportation layer which showed the DC metro system and yet you show Ocean, Global Awareness and all that crap? You cannot be serious! Who’s bright idea was this? Can we please go back to using some common sense?

  134. I’ll put my 2 cents in also. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Taking out the Nat parks layer is a BIG mistake. I need the selective “points of interest” section back. I would even pay for that ability.

  135. What a terrible change. I liked having control over which points of interest were shown or not shown. There was no need to streamline away a list that was collapsible to begin with.

  136. I am going to move to another town in a few months and I am looking for houses that are close to metro but I cannot see the lines anymore. It is a pain in the ass since I have look quite hard to locate the closest metro station now and when I find one, I have to check it from the provider’s website to see on which line it is. I used to get all this information within seconds.

  137. Google Earth – BRING BACK MY PARK BOUNDARIES! The only reason I use Google Earth is to plan my next hike.

  138. Steve Weylandt says:

    I agree with the comments about the changes to the Places layer. I can’t seem to find any of the golf course and park icons that i previously used. Please bring that back as an option.

  139. global_confusion says:

    I never understood from the beginning why this layer tree (folders and layers) isn’t entirely customizable by each user like a real GIS. It should function more like the My Places panel where users could download, access, or remove different content by there own choice. I know, I know GE is not a real GIS yet it would definitely benefit by incorporating more of the fundamental functionality instead of cramming some random layers down your throat. People use GE for different things. This should be embraced. Don’t be evil, be flexible!

  140. Jill Johnsey says:

    Just wondering if anyone from Google might be able to give us an approximate DATE of when these “challenges” will be corrected? Like the posting from Jake S. on March 23, I too don’t want to go to another source to find information that I need. But if the Layers aren’t restored then I will have no choice. I can’t just sit here and hope something happens soon. I have a life. jill

  141. They need to change it back to the way it was before?

  142. a. Headley says:

    Just turned labels on when looking at the southern coast of Connecticut to see the towns.
    I get very few towns showing but I get all the rocks in the surrounding waters of Long Island sound.
    I know someone mentioned some financial association with these icons. The rock association escapes me.
    Looks like the POI is not the only thing screwed up in the new release.

  143. Like apparently everyone else here, I am highly annoyed. You have completely removed the river lines. Please bring them back – in fact, please just scuttle this whole change. I appreciate the effort, but it’s not what any of the users want.

  144. I opened Google Earth today to continue planning this year’s road trip across North America. Hello, where did the hotels go? They were there last week. At first I thought my software was corrupt. I couldn’t select sublayers under Places of Interest–the most useful aspect of GE for trip planning, bar none. I look at some one aspect–maybe hotels, maybe parks–over a wide area to make decisions about the route I’ll choose. Now I find out that GE has been “simplified”. First I have to decide where I’m going, and then zoom in before I can see the icons I want–and on top of everything else I get a whole pile of POI’s I’m not the least bit interested in cluttering up the view. Google Earth used to be a fabulous trip-planning tool. Right now it’s useless for me. Please, please, please let me choose the POI’s I want to see and then let me see them. You know, like the way it was. Thank you.

  145. I too liked the old way better. I preferred being able to filter the places of interest. I would typically keep the transportation locations (such as subway stops and bus lines) always on and turn on and off the other places of interest as I was interested. Now, it seems, that I can no longer do this. In urban areas, as you zoom in you wind up with lots of places of interest that clutter the map. If I want to find a restaurant in downtown Washington, DC, I have to distinguish between restaurant, hotel, supermarket, transit, cultural, and other icons.
    I prefer the old way.

  146. I was using the places of interest feature to help look at the location of houses I’m thinking buying. It was great knowing how close schools, public transport, parks, etc. were and now I have no idea where anything is. This change is no enhancement, its a major step backwards and an utter disgrace!!!

  147. Places of interest worked very well the way it was. I do understand this is a virtual environment, so it makes sense that it POI is now virtually useless!

  148. I use the National Parks layer (combined with the Panoramio layer) to plan backpacking trips and preview the scenery at different camps/trails. Fiddling with the Points of Interest layer cluster was a huge mistake. I’m hoping Google responds to this outpouring of negative response.

  149. Please return the user defined detail features that were available in Places of Interest. Those features are what made this tool so useful. I don’t need to see all of the Places of Interest if my search is only concentrating on one particular item.

  150. So, with all their data aggregation, they can’t tell that X number of users regularly downloaded the National Parks/Forest layers? Or particular layers for that matter? They couldn’t tell how often individual layers were used versus turning the whole thing on/off?
    And what’s with the retroactive implementation? I didn’t even download the update and I lost the functionality from my older version. That would seem to imply that the menu is a streamed service, which takes me back to my original question: they couldn’t tell what parts we used?
    Are we heading for a pay for data service?

  151. Tom Carlisle says:

    I do not like the one button “places of interest.” If done to help casual users, it will backfire (as some have noted) since casual users will get tired of all the crap that they don’t need… or they will hear from us long time users and realize what’s been taken away. How can Google know that this is desired or needed by casual users? I’m inclined to think that Google respnded to commercial entities who didn’t like the fact that we can turn off “their” layer. When I was a new user, it took me about three minutes to learn and understand the old places of interest hierarchy and how to use it. I taught my 90 year old mother to use it in 10 minutes. I loved the ability to toggle things on and off and have used it in many of the ways noted in other comments. Please bring back the old places of interest. When I need to find a hotel, I’ll turn it on. Google should tell your commercial customers to trust that we will do so. When I don’t need it why should it clutter my screen? My default for the new places of interest will be OFF, most of the time… and this is already driving me away… completely. My demonstration of how cool Google Earth is to a friend was completely defeated when one of the features that I’d hyped to them was no longer available. Active regular users are your stealth marketers. Make us happy again.

  152. Awful, awful reduction of functionality. Please bring back this vital feature, Google!

  153. The posts here sum it up. The removal of the layers/choices from Places of Interest removed the users ability to customize the items we want to view during a search. In my opinion it is a downgrade. If you are a Google Earth developer reading these blogs, please consult with your collegues about restoring the original layer/choices functionality. It was magnificent.

  154. Thanks Google! Not only do you remove one of the BEST and MOST USED features on Google Earth, but you don’t deem to tell anyone about it? Give me a break!!$@# China got your heads messed up or something? Wtf? GIVE US OUR FILTERING BACK!!!!!!

  155. Google has now updated the layer again with additional features, including the restoration of most of the items that you’ve been waiting for. If you have further discussion, please continue it on that post:
    http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2010/03/the_points_of_interest_return.html

  156. Rod Macdonald says:

    I was disappointed by the “changes” to GE. I hope you put back the differentiated menus we enjoyed previously. The “tour” of my own placemarks is obscured by DG adverts (I suppose I can turn them off) and an excess of icons. I had my “tour” and points of interest customized, and now everything is MESSED up. I will move to some GIS program if you can not restore GE as it was. I suggest exploring Quantum GIS from SOURCE FORGE. It is available for all platforms (Mac, Win, and Lin) for free. I put considerable work into a “tour” of my research sites in GE. Perhaps Google will restore GE, but if you don’t, we need to find out about alternatives. I just downloaded and started QGIS. I’ll post in the future on my success or lack of success with QGIS. I would rather stick with GE, but this “change” to the menu options is going to make me quit, if it is not fixed (restored).

  157. I don’t know where my DC metro lines are, or my airport point data. How on earth (yes…pun) does Google think nobody would need to show transportation anymore?
    These changes were sure quiet and just forced upon users. Awful…simply awful.
    I think they really hurt themselves with this move and I’m seriously considering to move away from google products if they are going to pull stunts like this. I’m sure others aren’t going to tolerate the lack of control or notice either.

  158. Etienne Plante says:

    Thank you very much for restoring PLACES OF INTEREST

  159. Alec TricFoxx says:

    Wonderful News! Google not only put it all back, it’s pretty looking, ergonomic, and seriously more in depth than it was before.
    Thanks, so much, Google Earth Team for responding. 5 Stars, Gold Medal, Win-Win. Happiness and Joy abounds. OK! Off to exploring… Foxx, out. =^.^=

  160. Sorry to say your improvement is just the opposite. I used the Golf Course layer all the time. Now gone? What a pity.

  161. Dear Google Earth Staff,
    Google Earth used to be able to be set to show (they would be labeled with the words corresponding with the features) features such as lakes, mountain peaks, wells, springs, tanks, mines, towns, small roads, and many other geological features). Please restore such thanks.

  162. What happened to the Golf Courses?

  163. Dan Chase says:

    I lost my golf courses!!! Along with a bunch of other reasons I sued Google Earth. When is the next “upgrade” back to the prvious version going to happen.

  164. GrahamGadget says:

    I want the rivers and lakes back!

  165. Frank Tecca says:

    I liked the old layers layout much better. I used the golf boundaries and information all the time. Why can’t it be added back in the “More” layers?

  166. I’m betting this is a money thing. I have a feeling that POI is now only going to be for those who PAY Google to be a place of “interest”.
    Ever go on vacation, and all you knew about the place was what you found on the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Info sites or brochures? And once you got there you found a lot more going on – but those places didn’t PAY to get on the ‘official’ sites.

  167. I too used this feature a lot and will never be using it again until they bring it back, which I am sure they won’t if its like the other things they have taken away. Terrible decision guys. Terrible.

  168. Barb Flavin says:

    I really, really HATE the new format! We use Google Earth to look for potential retirement sites as well as “where-to-visit sites.” Golf is a HUGE factor for my husband and I can’t imagine what in the world GE was thinking to remove the icon feature that identifies golf courses. I don’t want to believe that they’ve caved in to advertisement dollars, but it sure looks that way.
    Please rethink your poor decision to redo POIs and have the courage to put it back to the way it was. Let each of US decide what general topic we want to find–golf, school, park, etc. and don’t lump them into what YOU think we want to find.
    BTW–If we want to look up the name of a specific thing–i.e., specific golf course, specific restaurant, etc., we’ll use the “Business” feature…isn’t that why you created it?

  169. Jon Willett says:

    First off, thank you for such an amazing program in Google Earth and thank you very much for your swift responses/changes so far to concerns raised over the recent changes!
    My question pertains to the new interface: are there any plans to re-instate the “Geographic Features” layer (mountains, hills, etc)? I found this feature incredibly useful, liked the icon and general presentation, and was amazed at its accuracy. I would very much like to see it returned in its previous form.
    Thank you for your time!

  170. Tom Smouth says:

    Wow – worst “upgrade” ever.. making me see just ‘selected-by-google’ places of interest is almost apple-like, taking out golf courses is a step backward.. How are they not places of interest?

  171. Completely agree, I find I rarely use Places of Interest anymore because there’s too much junk that gets in the way. I hope this gets changed back soon.

  172. Christian says:

    From bad to worse. Guys, you are supposed to be a “green-oriented” company. Instead of using your time to make this awful “upgrades” you should work on getting sure that the trains & metro lines, and other layers of public transportation -including bike trails-, are clearly defined and coloured in every city of the globe (how do I get from this point of the city to this other one? the “M” does not tell me that) – they should even have a dedicated check box as “Roads” have.

  173. I used the golf course info almost on a daily basis. Removing it was really a shame.

  174. Michael Harwood says:

    I agree that the new Places of Interest is a terrible feature. Please bring back the old way, especially the Golf Course layer. Please let us customize Places of Interest according to our own personal preferences.

  175. Florian says:

    This is a disaster ! Please bring back the old layers !

  176. Wow! I don’t think i’ve ever seen such universal and vehement disagreement with the author of an article. Clearly said person has lost a great deal of credibility here towing the old company line.

  177. It’s the old Facebook syndrome. Take something that works and that users are comfortable with, and change it to the point where it is basically unrecognizable and almost everyone agrees the changes are for the worse. I think what happens in a conglomerate such as Facebook or Google is employees feel they must justify their positions. So something like this makes it seem like they are really busy working.

  178. Ben — I agree. The level of disagreement with my post was remarkable, but that’s why we allow commenting on the site; people often have a different viewpoint than I do.
    However, I wasn’t “towing the company line”. I don’t use the POI layer very often, and I thought the improvement was nice. Google’s intention was to make it easier for users to use the layer without having to toggle a bunch of checkboxes. They obviously over-simplified it, and since then have made changes to help make it more useful again for the more in-depth user like yourself.
    At this point they’ve reached a pretty good compromise, though they need to go further. Having the “smart” POI button for novice users and the detailed “more” section for others is a great way to do it. Once they finish populating the “more” area with the rest of the missing items, I think it’ll be pretty solid.

  179. The transportation layer was one of my favorites. Will you please put it back.

  180. What a shock. I haven’t used Google Earth since this change occurred. I guess I’ve been living under a rock. This really stinks. Looks like an advertising ploy by Google. They’ve ruined the rest of the Internet with their advertising, now they’re ruining their own applications. So I can’t get rid of this stupid layer? I have to muddle through hundreds of misplaced photos? What were they thiking? I guess this happened March 19, but they haven’t listened to their loyal and more sophisticated users. What a sham. MAKE THE LAYER SELECTABLE!

  181. Google earth is now such a pile a junkie advertising that I’m TOTALLY DONE WITH IT! I’m throwing out the application There are enough alternatives that I do not need to rely on this commercial machine. Google, greed will take you down.

  182. Montclair says:

    Give me back my choice of using Earth 5.0

  183. Jan Jager says:

    I used Google Earth a lot to find hotels and nearby restaurants. Also, we travel to many National Parks. Where are these indicators now?
    Jan Jager

  184. Why have you taken off national forest and national park boundaries. What a screwup.

  185. Here it is June 2013 and we still can’t filter POI. Please change this back.

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