Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Using iPhoto Faces and Places

I have handful of very old family photos scanned in and in iPhoto. These are from the 1920s and earlier. In the late 1990s I was doing some genealogy research with my parents and had noted the names of most of the people in the photos.

Last night I used the Faces in iPhoto to mark the names. Like facebook, this lets you draw a rectangle around a face on a photo and label the person. It also lets you easily see all photos containing a particular person. Apple went further and included face recognition software (think like what current digital cameras do for focusing on faces) to guess at where the faces are in the photo and further to compare them with already labeled faces in other photos to make the whole process quick. It mostly works. And I was able to do this easily:
Picture 1 1.png

Harry is my grandfather and Max and Lena are my great grandparents. We think this photo is from around 1906. it really pays off in this photo of Harry's wedding reception from 1922:

Picture 3 1.png

Yes you can turn off the labeling to see just the photo. If only it had better integration with Address Book or had a way of tracking maiden names. I wonder if Reunion (mac genealogy software) will start integrating with iPhoto?

My grandfather Harry owned a dress manufacturing company with some of his brothers in NYC called Modern Pleating. It no longer exists, but the remnants of the painted sign on the side of a brick building is still there and I have pic of that.

Picture 5 1.png

I found a web site listing signs in midtown Manhattan that had an address. iPhoto also has a places feature which works with geotagged photos (like taken by an iPhone) or lets you add location info using an interface using Google Maps. I entered the address from the web site, 330 W. 38th St., and saw a Google satellite map with a push pin on a building. To check that it was right I used street view on the Google Maps page and looked around a bit and found basically the same shot as I had, confirming the address.

Pretty useful stuff.


Anonymous said...

interesting your family looks alot like my geneology maybe we are related :-)

Howard said...

Hard to know anonymous.

Richard said...

The labeling of the old pictures is really cool. Now if I could just get my mom to let me have the old pictures to digitize (and buy a Mac). I would be on my way.