Picasa Web Albums Data API

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. Who should use the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
  3. What API actions require a Picasa Web Albums account?
  4. Are there any example projects using the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
  5. Using the API

  6. How do I geotag a photo or an album?
  7. How do I determine the amount of quota a user has remaining?
  8. What image formats can I upload?
  9. Can I edit a comment using the API?
  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 update Picasa Web Albums content in the form of Google Data API feeds. Your client application can request a list of a user's albums, photos, comments, or tags, edit or delete content in an existing entry, and query the content in an existing entry. To get started, please visit the Developer's Guide.
Who should use the Picasa Web Albums Data API?
The API is designed to help anyone interested in creating custom visualizations of photos, allowing users to comment on them (and have the comments stored in Picasa Web Albums), writing a plugin to manage 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 Picasa Web Albums account?
To upload photos, update comments or tags, delete data, or query for private photos, you'll need to authenticate using a Picasa Web Albums account. See the developer documentation to learn how to authenticate with the Picasa Web Albums Data API. A user can register for a Picasa Web Albums account.
Are there any example projects using the Picasa Web Albums Data API?

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

  • Picnik - Online photo editing.
  • Blurb - Create your own book.
  • Shozu - Upload photos via camera phone.

Here are more sample projects that query public photos through the API:


Using the API

How do I geotag a photo or an album?

New albums created with a gphoto:location element will automatically be geotagged with the appropriate location if Picasa Web Albums can geocode the textual location specified into a latitude/longitude pair. Also, if photos are uploaded with EXIF GPS information, the location will be extracted from the EXIF data and used to geotag the photo. In order to show this extracted data, a user can go to their settings and select 'Show Exif location information.'

Locations can also be added to photo or album entries via the API using GeoRSS syntax.

<georss:where>
  <gml:Point>
    <gml:pos>35.669998 139.770004</gml:pos>
  </gml:Point>
</georss:where>

This example represents a location with a latitude of 35.669998 and a longitude of 139.770004.

The relevant namespaces are:

  • georss = 'http://www.georss.org/georss'
  • gml = 'http://www.opengis.net/gml'
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 20MB.

Can I edit a comment using the API?
No, you can only insert and delete comments through the API. Comments can be deleted via the API, but only by the owner of the photo or the owner of the comment.
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.

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