Google’s Picasa 3.6

Hey kiddies! Google Picasa 3.6 is out and it now has local facial recognition! Wooohoooo!

I found out by accident really that Picasa now includes the facial recognition. My daughter asked if she could install it on the pc I have set up for my 2 younger children because she is using it in her computer classes at school. So I said sure seeing it’s a Google app, IT’S FREE and her school is using/supporting open source software! The teacher must also have a clue to find good, free software. Maybe I should point my daughter in the direction of Gimp?

people_sgWhile I was walking her through the install and initial configuration I noticed that after importing her pictures from locally on the pc I saw a new “People” tab in the navigation pane. Upon clicking on it, Picasa starts recognizing faces and ordering them into groups for you to name. I was like “Holy crap Batman!”. 😀

So I immediately installed it on my pc and pointed it at our HUGE image collection! My wife LOVES taking pictures to put it mildly. Especially after her ex-husband took all her picture album’s, amongst other things, and supposedly “burned them all” when they were getting divorced. But that’s a whole other saga in it’s-self!

So any way, back to the point, I pointed it our collection of images and watched at waited. It took Picasa over two hours to import all 54G of our images. Yes, that’s right, fifty-four Gigabytes! Pretty much since the first day my wife and I have been together we have had a digital camera. So that’s over 14 years now of non-stop images. It’s great to see all the kids growing up. All the silly images you forgot about because they were buried! Sorry, I keep wandering off!

After Picasa started recognizing quite a few faces I slowly started naming them and associating new groups it found with names already created. It doesn’t hit every similar face very time seeing the angles are different, etc.. But it does seem to learn. Like at first it was confusing my 2 youngest children’s baby pics because they looked so familiar. But after removing some from it’s auto association and adding some new pics it found to the existing name, it’s getting better at getting all the faces right.

people2_sg That was at about 8:00pm CST last night. I spent a few hours constantly clicking on people and naming them or associating them with names already created. When I went to bed, about 10:00pm CST, had to catch “The Daily Show”, the scanning of all our images for facial recognition was at about 5% complete with over 99,000 pics to scan. When I woke up this morning, it was 53% complete with still over 46,000 pics to scan. UUUGGGHHH!

I know the wait will be worth it though! Finally having an image collection that is searchable by people and facial recognition is going to be the shit!

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