Have you ever wished you could see multiple searches in Google Maps, or search for directions and see businesses along the route all at the same time? Now, you can!
Suppose you would like to drive the famous Road to Hana while you are on vacation on Maui. You search for directions to Hana from where you are staying in Wailea. Since it's a long drive, you also search for gas stations, so you know where you can fuel up on the way, and supermarkets, so you can pick up snacks for the trip. After the second search, you'll notice a blue bar at the bottom of the left panel. Click on it to expand the widget, which allows you to turn on both searches as well as your route to Hana. The markers are color-coded, so you can tell which search is which.
A quick glance at the map shows that there are quite a few grocery stores along the way and that one of your last chances to fill your gas tank is in Paia. You can even load up a My Map of points of interest along the way.
Consider another scenario, where you want to meet a friend for dinner on your way to downtown San Francisco. You search for transit directions from where you are on 24th and Valencia to Downtown SF, and then search for two of your favorite restaurants, Bar Jules and Walzwerk. Clicking on the blue bar at the bottom of the left panel reveals both searches for the restaurants as well as your route downtown. You can click on the checkboxes to turn each search on and off.
It looks like Walzwerk is closer to your path, so you decide to tell your friend to meet you there. And if she isn't completely sold on the convenience of your plan, you can tell her that they have fantastic spätzle and German pilsner.