This has been a pet peeve of mine and its not just a problem with ESRI ArcGIS Explorer. Google has the search figured out just about perfectly. Give the user one text box to enter in their search query and return results. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth has not gotten this right yet.

I don’t understand the need to put two search dialogs up there in the top. I’m always entering in my search query wrong because I’m not paying attention to which text box I should use.

ArcGIS Explorer has a similar problem. As you’d expect, there is a “find place” task available to search. The problem is while this works great for place names, it won’t recognize coordinates. Putting in the location of the Matterhorn into this text box:

Of course there is a way to go to coordinates in AGX (from the ESRI ArcGIS Explorer help):

If you want to find a place by its coordinates don’t use Find Place; use the Go to Location (Ctrl-G) command on the Tools menu instead.

One simple text box to find a place is all that should be needed. Google has this right and others should emulate this functionality.