Problems with the new search in Google Earth

Last week we noted that Google had changed the way search results are displayed in Google Earth (desktop version). Several GEB readers have noted, however, that there are some problems with the functionality of the new search.

GEB reader ZEROibis pointed out in the comments that if you try to obtain directions by right clicking on two locations and selecting “directions from here”, and “directions to here” respectively, Google Earth inserts into the search box text like this:

from:53.4083714, -2.9915726 (Liverpool) to:52.6368778, -1.1397592 (Leicester)

and the search fails, flying you to latitude 0 and longitude 0. If, however, you carefully remove the sections in brackets and remove some of the extra spaces, then it does work, and provides fairly comprehensive directions, including different modes of transport and multiple routes – as was the case before the recent change.

There also appears to be no easy way to open the directions being viewed in Google Maps – a feature that used to be available.


If you wish to get directions from locations that do not have a clickable icon in Google Earth, then there are two options:

  1. Click the “Get Directions” link below the search box, then enter the addresses in the two input boxes that appear.
  2. Add Placemarks to the map for your ‘from’ and ‘to’ locations, then right click on them in turn and select “Directions from here” and “Directions to here” respectively. Then remove the sections in brackets from the search text as explained above.

Save to My Places
If you search for a location and it comes up in the search results, it used to be possible to right click on it and save it in ‘My Places’, or one could simply drag and drop it to the desired folder in ‘My Places’. Now, however, neither the right click menu option nor the drag and drop seem to work at all. Another option on the right click menu ‘Copy as KML’ also does not work.
Instead, both functionalities are provided by buttons that appear just below the search results – which do work correctly. This includes the ability to save search directions.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Thanks for the workaround, but I hope you fix this soon. I use the “from here to here” function all the time to calculate delivery costs.

  2. Brittany Sventon says

    I had the same trouble the other day using Google Earth to get directions. My co-worker tried Google Earth on her computer and had the same trouble yesterday and today as well. Please fix this, Google!

  3. Search results are not picking up all locations given a specific query. In my case I’m unable to save all competitors within a certain radius. I was capable of doing this before the update and now have to manually search and place mark each location. Doesn’t seem like a lot of work but in major markets this now requires a tremendous amount of time. Another one else notice this?

  4. same issue. im in south africa and the from here to here doesnt work takes me to the middle of the ocean some hotel singh empire dx. really frustrating.

  5. The work around works. Just remember to take out the spaces between the coordinates. This is still very frustrating. I get the impression that GE is not being maintained very well. I guess there is no incentive when Google only has to compete with Apple Maps and Bing, both of which still suck more. Come on GE team you have an awesome product! Please keep it functioning.

  6. Pain in the ass workaround, but it does work. GE is proving they could care less about the market that they have cornered. I wonder if the PRO users are having this issue? Doubtful. Wouldn’t mind paying a little for a useful product, but the Pro price is outrageous

    • Timothy Whitehead says

      The problem lies in the search engine that Google passes the query to and not the Google Earth client itself. The Pro version almost certainly has the same issue as it likely creates a similar search string.

  7. this problem with the drag and drop the locations found is horrible ! After finding a location I have to click on a blue folder with a down arrow. Then it creates a folder on my places, and inside of it is saved the location….a terrible confusing mess….. please google, fix it !!!!

  8. What a pain in the keester. PLEASE FIX THIS GOOGLE. I need this functionality.

  9. This has been incredibly frustrating. Thanks for the workaround though. At least now I can use this functionality until Google Earth fixes it.

  10. Chris Holmes says

    I used to use to-from in my work with schools all over Essex, and don’t want to have to ‘workaround’ when I didn’t need to before!

  11. Is horrible without google earth ,like old time searching maps.wasting of time,please fix it.I prefer the formal.ty

  12. Please please please fix this!

  13. Installing Google Earth version 6.1 remedies the problem. If you depend on the direction feature I recommend downgrading until Google addresses this bug.

    • Thanks a lot mate! Very good post. This brings me to the “old times” when from-to was working perfect! I will not upgrade again the GE unless they fix the mess created.

  14. Appears that has Google fixed the error. It’s a shame Google doesn’t communicate more openly with uses when such problems arise.

  15. Mine (Build date 5.20.2015) has this problem so Google didn’t fix.

  16. Also, when I try to use the Google Earth “feedback” feature, and click “Submit”, it eventually times out and says “Submit failed, try again later”

  17. Pro has the same problem on build Other things have changed in the search results. If you search one single item, then the item has element in it with 4 points making a square around the PlaceMark. Strangely, if the search returns only one item, then the PlaceMark does not have the element.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.