One of the most significant feature in Picasa 3.5 is the tools to recognize and tag people. It is essentially and expansion of the people tagging introduced into Picasa web Albums. The magic to its inclusion in Picasa 3.5 is that it will scan your collection of photos looking for individual faces, then group these photo so that similar faces are together. each group cab easily be identified by clicking on the add a name below the photo resenting that group and you have created an album for that person. Picasa will also look in gmail for contact details and add them to the album.
Once you have tagged a few people picasa will endeavour to add new faces to that album, if the match is only tentative you see a couple of conform icon under the tentative photo. Just click on the green plus to include of the red X to remove the photo from that person’s album.
Once enough photos are tagged the people button, pops up a person oriented search panel on the right hand side of the scene, which includes a handy thumbnail index of people. Uploading photos to your web album can even notify the people in the photos if you have their email addresses in their contact details. Fortunately people setting are not open to the public unless you allow such access.
It isn’t just picasa that had got on the people tagging band wagon. Flickr now has a new people feature. It is not as much gee-whiz fun as the picasa face recogniser and you have to manually identify your contacts in your photos. Ok that’s not exactly true because Your flickr friends can also manually identify themselves in your photos. Its basically fully public unless you opt for restriction on who can see or insert people tags.
Being able to tag & index your photos by the people in them is a truely great benefit, but some of that benefit may become a two edge sword, if all the family details or an embarrassing moment become named (& shamed) in public.