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Picasa gains face recognition capabilities

Google's PC management software now also has better geotagging features

The latest version of Google's Picasa photo-management software adds face-recognition features and simplifies geotagging, the company announced Tuesday.

With its new capacity to match faces, Picasa 3.5 can automatically group photos in which the same person appears.

Google rolled out this face recognition and grouping feature last year to the product's Web hosted version, which is called Picasa Web Albums.

Upon launching Picasa 3.5, the application will scan stored photos and create groups of similar faces, putting them into an album titled "Unnamed People." Then users can manually add name tags to the photos.

Picasa will then create albums named after tagged people.

It will also offer suggestions for untagged faces in other photos that the application considers are similar to faces that have been identified with names in other photos.

Name tags can also be shared between albums in Picasa Web albums and Picasa 3.5, which runs on Windows and Mac OS machines.

In addition to the face recognition feature, Picasa 3.5 also comes integrated with Google Maps to add geolocation information to photos.

Previously, Picasa required that users install and run Google Earth to do this.

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