Recent Google Earth Changes Reverted

After criticism from users

  The new layer changes in Google Earth
Google continually updates and enhances its products, but, sometimes, the changes don't go particularly well with the users. While any change is bound to find its critics, and the vocal ones at that, the latest update to Google Earth has been particularly badly received, leading Google to tweak some of the changes or even reverse them.

The introduction of the Places of Interest layer was meant as a way to make it easier for casual users to get the most out of Google Earth, but other users complained about the fact that several layers were now bundled under the Places of Interest one, layers that, well, weren't all of interest to the users.

"We made the recent changes as part of our continual attempt to streamline and simplify the browsing experience, particularly for casual (or brand new!) Google Earth users," Matt Holden, Product Manager for Google Earth, wrote.

"But we know we also have a very loyal community of users who weren’t happy with the changes. One of the most common complaints was that we removed the ability to individually select certain layers (such as 'Parks' or 'Transportation'), which now appear in our default-on 'Places of Interest' layer. We’ve been listening, and today we released some changes to make these separate layers available again in Google Earth," he announced.

The biggest single change is that users can once again expand the "Labels" folder so they can select the individual layers inside. Google says the "Parks and Recreation Areas" category is now also available under the "More" folder.

Finally, Google Earth gets a new "Place Categories" folder that allows users to filter places of interest with categories like "Bars/Clubs," "Gas Stations," "Hospitals," and so on. Google says it's also working on making the “Transportation” layer separate again. In the meantime, finding what you need should still be easier than before thanks to the 40 new icons for different places.

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By    25 Mar 2010, 14:11 GMT