name tag.pngOne of the best ways to sort digital photos these days is to tag them. Not only do tags help with sorting the photos, they make viewing photos of certain people or events easier. The only hassle involved is the time it takes to actually apply tags, especially if there are lots of people in the photos. If only there was a more “automatic” way to do it….

There just might be that more automatic tagging system available, starting today with an updated Google Picasa. According to Stephen Shankland over at a CNET News Blog, Underexposed, Google is set to launch a face recognition feature for their Picasa Web Albums today at noon (pacific). Shankland describes the feature saying, “the “name tag” feature presents users with collections of photos with what it judges to be the same person, then lets them click a button to affix a name. Once photographic subjects are named, users can browse an album of that individual on the fly.”

I remember when Ryan decided he wanted to tag all of our photos. It took him many, many hours to go through the thousands of photos we have to get them all tagged. It was such a hassle, so it’s understandable why people simply don’t take the time to tag their photos. This new feature that Google is introducing with Picasa should make tagging something that more people use, more often.We haven’t been able to try the feature ourselves, but Shankland said it took him less than 15 minutes to tag about 200 faces in a set of over 100 photos. He says that included the set-up time too, with figuring out how it all works. Not bad.

As a side note, this feature is available to Picasa users thanks to the Google acquisition of “Neven Vision” back in 2006. It’s always nice to see how Google ends-up using the services that they buy.