Google Plus Photos
Google Plus Photos Location Mapping and Geo-tagging:
If Exif information is available on a user’s photos and pictures then Google Plus provides them with the option to enable the location mapping of the image to be added to the photo on the platform. This location mapping can then be viewed by other users on Google Plus. Users have to opt into this Google Plus Photos feature however, so if they are uncomfortable with the idea then they do not have to participate. This feature is particularly useful for users when they are trying to track their movements in an unfamiliar geography or environment. Furthermore, users can select to make the feature available on individual pictures or on entire albums.
Applying the feature to an album can be achieved simply. In order to do this, users open the album and then click on the “More” option. From here users can select the “Hide Location Data for This Album” option in order to hide it. Alternatively, users can utilise the options in this menu to make the information publically available, depending on their personal preference.
Google Plus Photos Creative Kit:
The Google Plus Photos Creative Kit tool is perhaps the most surprising yet comprehensive photo based elements available on the social media platform. The tool is organised into simple drop down menus which appear at the top of the viewer. This tool combines all of the fun and wacky features available on other social media platforms in one area.
The tool can be easily accessed by selecting an image and clicking the “edit photo” button. This button can be found with the other basic functions in the top left hand corner. There is also a wand icon for auto fix, there are also rotate features and a garbage bin to discard rejected projects into. In addition to basic functions including crop, sharpen and resize there are a number of the elements which has made Instagram so popular. These elements include blemish and shine control, in addition to a sunless tanning tool. The more quirky users of the platform will find a number of tools which enable them to add humorous effects to their images. These effects include adding speech bubbles, hats, glasses and humorous facial hair.
Google Plus Photos Facial recognition:
Perhaps one of the platforms most helpful photo functions is the facial recognition feature. When a user uploads a picture onto the platform their identity is recognised based on previous pictures which have been uploaded onto the platforms database. When a user uploads photos onto Google Plus the platform’s algorithm instantly detects faces and places a circle around them. Google Plus then asks the user to tag these faces, however as the same people are added as an album is uploaded the platform does this function automatically, saving the user massive amounts of time. However the feature is not yet perfect so at times users will have to tag pictures manually.
Google Plus Photos Album layout and recognition ability:
When a user selects an album to view it is laid out in a dynamic format providing the user with a layout of the album. This process creates a collage based on picture size, however if this is displeasing it can be easily rearranged. Often pictures are presented smaller than their actual size in the album’s collage view. However, when a user selects an individual picture it is instantly restored to its actual size.
If users desire they can easily reorganise the album, they simply open the album and select the “More” button which can be found on the right hand side of the screen. From here users select the “Organise Photos” option and manually drag and drop the photos into their preferred combination. At first this process may take users a while to become familiar with, however it is an excellent way of providing a true visual synopsis of an albums content.
Google Plus Photos Profile picture:
Similar to on Facebook each name on the platform is accompanied by a photo when it appears on lists or next to posts. Profile pictures are a core element of the platforms extensive photo recognition abilities, due to this some users decide to blur their profile picture in order to prevent this happening. One area where Google Plus falls short of other platforms is that it is not particularly easy currently for users to change their profile picture on the platform.
A user’s profile picture can be changed by going to their home page and hovering their cursor over the profile picture. A bar will appear, one of the options on this bar is Change Profile Picture. Clicking on this bar presents users with a popup window for images. Provided within this window are four sources for photos, Upload, Your Photos (all of the albums), Photos of You and Web Camera. From here users are able to select a preferred image and crop it accordingly before setting it as their new profile picture.