On May 1, 2016, the behavior of the Picasa Web Albums Data API will change. Read other important Picasa updates here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Main Google Data FAQ

The questions below are specifically targeted for the Picasa Web Albums Data API. There are, however, many questions that are applicable to all of the Data APIs. Visit the Google Data APIs FAQ if you do not find the question you are looking for below.

    Getting Started

  1. What is the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
  2. Isn't Picasa Web Albums Retired?
  3. How is the Picasa Web Albums Data API related to Google Photos?
  4. Who should use the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
  5. What API actions require a Picasa Web Albums account?
  6. Are there any example projects using the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
  7. Using the API

  8. How do I determine the amount of quota a user has remaining?
  9. What image formats can I upload?
  10. Can I get unlisted albums through the API?
  11. Can you set usage rights (e.g. creative commons)?
  12. Why can't I embed the full-sized image into my webpage?
  13. Do you have any tips or short sample code for common issues?

Getting Started

What is the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
The Picasa Web Albums Data API allows client applications to view and upload Picasa Web Albums content in the form of Google Data API feeds. Your client application can request a list of a user's albums and photos, and query the content in an existing entry. To get started, see the Developer's Guide.
Isn't Picasa Web Albums Retired?
There was an announcement posted on February 12, 2016 stating that the work to retire Picasa would begin on May 1, 2016. As part of that work, Picasa Web Albums will be deprecated. However, the Picasa Web Albums Data API will continue to work with some changes. These changes are detailed in the release notes of the new version of the API.
How is the Picasa Web Albums Data API related to Google Photos?
Picasa Web Albums and Google Photos provide different, but mostly overlapping views of the same user photo data. If you are logged in as the owner of the content, you can retrieve all of the photos you've uploaded and albums you've created in Google Photos and Picasa Web Albums via the Picasa Web Albums Data API. There are some exceptions. For example, Google Photos "Shared Albums" are not available via this API. There are no plans to add support for all Google Photos features to the Picasa Web Albums Data API.
Who should use the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
The API is designed to help anyone interested in creating custom visualizations of photos, writing a plugin to view your albums and photos from a desktop or mobile phone client, or creating a custom screensaver to display Picasa Web Albums photos on your computer.
What API actions require a Google account?
To upload photos or query for private photos, you'll need to authenticate using a Google account. See the developer documentation to learn how to authenticate with the Picasa Web Albums Data API. A user can register for a Google account.
Are there any example projects using the Picasa Web Albums Data API?

Here are some projects that use the Picasa Web Albums Data API for both querying data and uploading photos:

  • Picnik - Online photo editing.
  • Blurb - Create your own book.


Using the API

How do I determine the amount of quota a user has remaining?

To obtain the amount of quota remaining, subtract the feed/gphoto:quotacurrent from the feed/gphoto:quotalimit value found in the following feed:

https://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/api/user/username

The word default can be used in place of the username if you're using an authentication token.

What image formats can I upload?

Photos of the following types can be uploaded using the API:

  • image/bmp
  • image/gif
  • image/jpeg
  • image/png

The maximum size of each photo is 50MB.

Can I get unlisted albums through the API?
The API supports the same authentication tokens as the rest of Picasa Web Albums. If you have the authkey for an unlisted album, you can make a query for that album through the API with that authkey. Otherwise, you can only see unlisted content if you are logged in as the owner of the content.
Can you set usage rights (e.g. creative commons)?
Not currently, as this isn't supported yet in Picasa Web Albums.
Why can't I embed the full-sized image into my webpage?
You can only embed images into a webpage that are 800 pixels or smaller along the largest dimension. Larger images can be downloaded directly in your program. You can use the imgmax parameter to limit the size of the image in the <media:content> tag. For example:
https://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/projection/user/userID/albumid/albumID?imgmax=800
Do you have any tips or short sample code for common issues?
You should browse the Google Data API Tips Blog for help with both our client libraries and making raw requests. The Client Libraries and Sample Code page also lists some additional resources.