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Satellite Photo

PostPosted: Jan 20, 2009 8:19 pm
by Squirrel Girl
The thermal imaging thread mentions satellite imagery. That's interesting to me, so I checked for.....

Well they didn't have it rolled out this afternoon, but this evening Geo-eye has their shot of the inauguration crowd posted.

I think it would be fun to count/estimate the crowd. But they didn't get the entire crowd in the pic, so I guess we can't. It sounds like a fun exercise, though.

I talked to a woman tonight who was down on the mall (since I'm "local" but didn't go). She said that for hours she was packed in like a sardine. She said she wasn't cold because of all the body heat.

Re: Satellite Photo

PostPosted: Jan 20, 2009 8:21 pm
by Squirrel Girl
Hmm, as I look at the site, they have multiple pictures. Eg.: ... =219&gid=1

At first I wasn't sure if the patches were people. Why are they in patches? I guess so they could see the Jumbotrons?

Re: Satellite Photo

PostPosted: Jan 20, 2009 9:18 pm
by Squirrel Girl ... AUGURATION

The first commercial satellite photo of an inaugural event also shows large, unoccupied swaths of land on the Mall. It appears to contradict TV images showing an unbroken army of well-wishers from the Capitol all the way to the Washington Monument.

This is going to fuel a lot of debate, said Steve Doig, chairman of Arizona State University's journalism school. Doig established a reputation as a crowd-counting expert while working as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Miami Herald.

Doig said the satellite image, taken 40 minutes before President Barack Obama was sworn in, appears to support an estimate of about 800,000 people.

"The space-based image is fascinating because all the low-level (TV) shots make you think the crowd is much larger," Doig said.

The satellite photo, taken from roughly 423 miles above the earth's surface, shows dense clots of people in front of the many JumboTron screens placed along the length of the two-mile Mall, Doig said.
The space image also seems to contradict U.S. Park Police, which declared the Mall had reached capacity and began directing late-arriving groups toward viewing positions west of the Washington Monument.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty also told USA TODAY that "roughly" 1.8 million people were at Tuesday's inauguration and considered that a conservative estimate.

The U.S. Park Service is expected to publish an official crowd estimate later this week based on photographs taken from government aircraft. The Park Service said it was making an exception to its 13-year policy of not counting heads at public events in the nation's capital because of the historic nature of Tuesday's swearing-in.