Download of the Week: Picasa, now with face tagging

By on October 1, 2009, 6:36 PM
Roughly one year after rolling out facial recognition on its Picasa web-based photo service, Google is finally bringing the same functionality to the desktop. The latest version of this popular photo organizing software, Picasa 3.5, analyzes the faces of the people in your pictures and groups similar ones together, making it easier to identify subjects by name for sorting and searching.

The program does a great job of pulling out the faces in your images -- even though the scanning process can take quite a while depending on the size of your library -- and listing them in the People tab with an “add a name” label next to them. As for the face recognition feature itself, honestly, I was amazed at how accurate it was; as soon as I began tagging a few friends and family members Picasa went on and found some more photos were each of them appeared and prompted for confirmation, making almost no mistakes.

Google made the process fairly simple too, by letting you simply click through each picture for confirmation, and adding an option to bulk accept or deny suggestions. If you already use name tags in your Picasa Web Albums, you can also log into your account and download that information to the Picasa application.

While obviously the main focus of this release was face tagging, a few other improvements were made across the board, including Google Maps integration for faster and easier geo-tagging, a smarter keyword-tagging interface, and more importing options. Picasa 3.5 is available for both Windows and Mac OS X systems.

User Comments: 3

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Guest said:

I was excited about this. Than I found out that it saves the 'faces' data in user folder under app data and there doesn't seem to be a good way to get it to sync with multiple machines. This makes it a waste of time for me. I love Picasa but this just seems unfinished.

elroacho72 said:

I love face tagging! With Picasa it's really easy to love. Adobe has had face tagging in one shape or another for awhile. But always fell short on a real solution to tagging and organizing all of my pictures. Well, what Google did with Picasa, is a solution! I have tagged every photo I have in a couple of days. Adobe is a great program if you only have a couple of photos. Picasa just tagged over 64,000 pictures. That sounds like a lot because it is. I just scanned in all of my parents pictures. Now they are telling me all of the pictures that aren't named because they are old just like the picture .Ha Ha

aestarvirus said:

oh this is great! i remember that face-tagging is also one main feature of samsung digital camera ST550. i didn't know that picasa also now has this hight tech inovation on its photo filing system.

it's quite convenient to save your photos using picasa now and even easier to browse because of that face tagging feature...i haven't tried it yet coz my picasa account cannot be opened here in guangzhou china... maybe when i visit my family back in philippines i'll try to upload all of my pics there...

perhaps this particular feature is accurate as what the above article said, if it is indeed, i think everybody will have an interest to try it too!

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