Google have invested a great deal of time and effort in facial recognition and the benefits are part of their photo editing application Picasa. You can use this tool to automatically tag the name of family and friends and to create a ‘personal’ album for each.
To turn on the feature you need to have it ticked in Picasa – Options – Name Tags.
Google will now start to scan all of your images to find human faces. It will then sort them into small groups of ‘like’ faces for you to start tagging.
Initially all faces will be in the Unnamed Section but they will be moved to a named folder as you start to tag each person. You are now ready to start tagging faces, ‘training’ Picasa to recognise features.
Click on a Face then Add a name and type in the name of the person being tagged.
Each time you tag a ‘new’ person a Picasa profile will be created for them. Just click on New Person to create that profile.
As more people are tagged a list begins to build in the People section and Picasa ‘learns’ what that individual looks like at various stages of their life.
From that point on when it recognises a photograph of that individual it will add a copy to that person’s image folder.
Obviously Picasa will find many faces on your photographs that are of no interest. To remove these and ‘ignore’ them in future – click on the X symbol at the top right of the image and select ‘Ignore Person’.
To view all the tagged images of an individual you simply click on their name in the People section of Picasa. You will now see all of the tagged images for that person but may also see a message about ‘suggestions’. These are images that Picasa thinks is that person. You can view these and select them in one click using the ‘confirm all’ button.
Using this method of tagging is a great way to flag family images and see how they change over the years.