Picasa is both an image organizer and image viewer. Picasa is used for the organization and edition of digital photos along with integrated photo sharing website. A company, named Lifescape, originally created it in 2002 and, since 2004, Google owns Picasa. “Picasa” is a mixture of the name of Spanish Painter Pablo Picasso, phrase “mi casa” and “pic” which represents pictures. Since Google acquired it, they are offering it as freeware.

Organization and editing


In order to organize photos, Picasa has file importing as well as tracking features along with facial recognition, tags and collections for further sorting. It also provides a few photo editing functions including cropping, color enhancement and red eye reduction. There are other features like image timelines, printing and slide shows. You can also prepare images for external use by reducing the file size along with setting up page layouts. Picasa supports several formats such as Google’s WebP, JPG as well as most of the RAW image formats. You can view and eventually edit the RAW files and save the resulting edit without any kind of change to the original file.

Keywords


Picasa uses ini files for keeping track of each keyword for each individual image. In case of JPEG files, Picasa also attach├ęs IPTC information interchange model keyword data to the files. However, the case is not so for other fie types. In case of JPEG files, the attached keywords can be read by using other image library software including Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop Album, digiKam, iPhoto Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, ventage etc.

Picasa Readme symbolizes the data parsing capability of Picasa in case of Extensible Metadata Platform(XMP). However, it cannot search local files in case of existing XMP keywords.

Searching


Picasa consists of a search bar and you can see this bar while viewing the library. Searches are live and hence the items displayed are filtered with your typing. The search bar searches captions, filenames, folder names, tags as well as other metadata.

There is also an experimenting feature in Picasa that allows to search images with the operator “color”.

Viewing


There is no separate view window in Picasa, only an “edit view” with a viewing area. You can view the full screen in slide show mode. Also you can see this feature through the context menu of Windows Explorer and start the Picasa editor very easily.

Backup


In Picasa 2 as well as earlier versions, changes made in the picture overwrite the existing file but original file’s backup version is saved in a hidden folder named “Originals” in the same folder of the original picture.

In Picasa 3, changes in the picture are saved to a hidden file named picasa.ini, the same folder where the original picture is stored. Thus you can perform multiple edits without changing the original image.

Face recognition


Google announced the news of acquiring Neven Vision that has a technology of searching features within photos. Google applied the technology for face recognition and eventually launched in case of Picasa web albums in 2008.

Geotagging


From the 3.5 version, Google Earth is not required. Rather geotagging can be directly done inside Picasa.Picasa has the facility of writing geographic coordinates to Exif metadata, eventually geotagging an image.

Other Picasa applications


Picasa Web Albums


Picasa Web Albums is a photo sharing website from that is often compared to Flickr and other similar sites. It allows the users (who have Google accounts) the flexibility of storing as well as 1GB of large photos fully free.

Hello


Hello is a computer program of Picasa by using which users can send images across the internet as well as publish them in respective blogs. Similar to instant messaging, Hello focused on digital photographs too. This service was cancelled in the year 2006 and the users were told to try out the “Blog This” functionality of Picasa foe uploading pictures to respective blogs.

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