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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Picasa Adds (Real) Search

Finally, Google’s Picasa Web Albums (hopefully renamed Google Photos soon to save everyone headaches) allows you to search for photos from others. Previously you were restricted to finding your own photos, or those from your favorite albums. Also, Picasa increased the free storage capacity for users to 1 gigabyte.

A big remaining problem however: what are you gonna do with the photos you find? Well, you can look at them, but there’s the nice movement of Creative Commons which makes the photo search of competing Flickr so incredibly valuable. Because at Flickr, users can upload photos tagged with a CC license, and other users can then restrict their search to CC photos only. This way, you can actually include or remix the content you find for use on your own website.

On a related note, I wonder if one day we’ll see Picasa results included in Google image search results. If the community and their uploaded pictures reach a certain threshold – right now, it’s much too small still – then this might become interesting for Google to play around with (and it will be yet another discussion about cross-integration conflicts). Right now, the images aren’t even spidered in Google Images. Does anyone know what Google wants to achieve with their current Picasa robots.txt, by the way?

User-agent: Googlebot
Allow: /$
Disallow: /

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

[Via the official Google blog.]


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