Search layers were first introduced in Google Maps a few years ago, and at last, they’ve recently made their way to Google Earth. Search layers enable you to see all the results of your search on the map at once, not just the top ten, making it easy to find clusters of certain types of businesses like fast food restaurants or coffee shops. One of the more entertaining uses of search layers that I’ve found has to do with a road that will be familiar to anyone who’s visited California: El Camino Real. Stretching from Sonoma Valley to San Diego, El Camino is a great place to find shops and restaurants of all kinds - and lots of them! Here’s a search layer for all the pizza places in the San Francisco Bay area; can you spot El Camino?
Search in Google Earth is much more than a pretty face, though. Just beneath the surface lies the powerful KML language, which you can use to take full control of your searches. Right-click on any search listing to save it to My Places or copy it as KML text, or click one of the icons below the search results to save or copy everything all at once. Save your walking directions to My Places and start a tour of the route to get turn-by-turn directions from the comfort of your chair. You can also click on “History” below the search field to see all of your recent searches at once, and selectively hide and show results to get, say, a picture of the top ten hotels and crêpe restaurants in Paris, for optimal crêpe-eating efficiency.