After uploading a few pictures last week, I spotted the ‘Add Name Tags’ link on my Picasa page. I knew this had to do with mapping faces to people, but what I had wrongly assumed was the simplicity. It took me less than a couple of hours to map about 2500 faces. I thought of sharing the accuracy of the tool & conditions that baffled it.
Unlike Orkut, where you have to mark faces yourself, Picasa automatically extracts faces. It took less than 5 minutes to extract some 5500 faces from about 3800 pictures. Another differentiator in the approach is that instead of mapping many faces on a photo (like Facebook, Flickr, etc), faces from many photos are brought together to be mapped to a person. This is what really saves time & effort and retains interest. Statistically speaking, atleast 60% of all my photos (about 1800 Nos) feature one from my family of four. So in the ideal case, I will finish mapping 1800 photos in 4 clicks instead of 3600 clicks (assuming 2 faces per photo). That makes Google what it is: not just an applications company, but a technology company.
I don’t know if people tagged by me will be suggested a priori to others in their photos.
The tool started off with my photos, possible because the count was the highest. I showed me about 12 full sets (x16) of my pictures. A couple of photos in the first set were quite old – about 12 years back. Soon, it started suggesting my name for all my photos.