Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Using Picassa 3.5 to Identify Photos

I have been playing with the facial recognition in Picassa 3.5, Google's free photo organizing and editing software. I have a lot of pictures scanned [and at least as many to scan]. Working with photos is not my favorite thing. After playing with the latest version of Picassa for about an hour I'm down to only 9,000 to identify!

The most interesting thing to me is it often chooses family members as potential matches. When I was labeling my granddaughter Marly's pictures it brought up for my consideration some of her sister Sarah's pictures. It did the same with my brothers.

I was hopeful that it would use this family resemblance to help identify some of my unknown ancestors but that has not happened so far. The only photo it has identified that I didn't know was one baby picture. It suggested it was my #2 brother. Upon closer inspection I believe it is. So there is hope it will find others as I start to identify the ancestors.

By pulling up the faces it did show me pictures I didn't even remember or know I had, an interesting side benefit.

I don't like the way it wants to link the pictures with an email address from my Google contacts. To foil it I used full names for men, maiden and married names for women. For those woman who don't use a married name I included their middle name. It seems to be looking for a perfect match in contacts and accepts these as new people. Of course, the problem will not arise with the old pictures but I tested on those I was sure about.

The price - free - is right so you have nothing to lose and maybe some photos to identify.

4 comments:

Claudia's thoughts said...

I will have to try that program. I have some photos and wonder if the person in the photo is perhaps an older person in another. The people who had that information are long since gone.

I also do not like how some programs (Facebook) scan you email addresses and try to friend those people. If I wanted that I would do it myself. I joined Facebook for the genalogy aspect, not to connect with some High school chum from forty years ago.

Cheryl Rothwell said...

Claudia - you have to give Facebook permission to access your email. Just say no.

Les said...

There is a problem with the file that contains the data for the photos you have identified. If it isn't included in your backup routine you will lose your hard work. Over at the JLOG blog,she explains it in this post http://tinyurl.com/yaymdys

Cheryl Rothwell said...

Thanks for that update Les.