Sunday, April 04, 2010

Google Picassa 3 Unnamed People

I really like Google Picassa 3's face recognition features. You tag who people are and it searches through your photos for matching faces and asks you if people in other pictures are also people you've tagged. After a while, it makes pretty good guesses about who is who.

It has been really cool for finding pictures of certain people when we need them. For example, we needed pictures of me or of my wife, or certain pictures of other people, and rather than go into our huge picture folder and think, I know that one of these years there was this good picture of Person X, you just click on the thumbnail of Person X and it shows the zoomed in view of Person X in all the different photos that they appear in... at least in the ones that you've already confirmed.

The problem is that I still have 7,140 unnamed people!

Many of them are indeed people in my family. I decided not to tag hardly anyone not in my family or extended family. So then you just click the X to ignore all the other people in your pictures you could be tagging.

It is funny how many of the people I don't know at all. I'll see hundreds of spectators at parades across the street from us, or who were sitting next to us in the parade route; there are kids who go with my kids to school in group pictures from school plays, but who I have no idea who they are.

There are even pictures of people hanging on the wall behind people who I was actually taking the picture of! So sometimes I'll mark Person B and Person C as being in a picture, and then it will show me Person B and I'll mark it as them and realize that actually it is from the same photo that I just tagged Person B in... it was just that there was a picture of Person B hanging on the wall in someone's living room. If it weren't for that, I was going to suggest to Google that Picassa have a feature to be a bit smarter and once you've tagged any particular person in a picture that it shouldn't recommend that the a face might be the same person again. I've realize there are other reasons that someone could be in a picture twice: remember the people in the rotating camera school class pictures that ran around the back of the bleachers so they'd be on both ends of the picture? That would need people to be there twice. More often though, is the case of photo collages, where the same person is there a bunch of times.

A few weeks ago I had over 10,000 unnamed people, so I guess I've whittled it down quite a bit. But it has taken seriously 3-5 hours to do that. It will be awesome to have it done, if I sometime get another 12 hours to finish the project. (I didn't do the math, that is just a guess.)

Pretty cool, this Picassa feature! Now who are these unnamed people?