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