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Jan-20-2009 22:44printcomments

Obama Inauguration Crowd Numbers Estimated by IHS Jane's and GeoEye

Not counting 240,000 people in the designated ticketholder areas, there were between 1.031 million and 1.411 million people present.

Crowd at President Obama's Inauguration
Crowd at President Obama's Inauguration, larger image below
Satellite image courtesy: IHS Jane’s and GeoEye

(LONDON) - IHS Jane’s has finalized the estimation of the crowd count at President Barack Obama’s inaugural event.

The methodology involved taking precise geospatial measurements of 71 different sectors over the Capitol in advance of the event, then analyzing the GeoEye-1 satellite image acquired at 11:19 AM on January 20th 2009.

The imagery was evaluated to determine crowd density at the event, which ranged from .1 to 5 people per square meter. After establishing the number of people in each predetmined sector, all the areas were added together to produce a final estimate.

Allison Puccioni, IHS Jane’s Satellite Imagery Analyst, explained, “After measuring the size and analyzing the density of the crowd populations in the image taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite at 11:19 a.m. East Coast Time, we have concluded that there are between 1.031 million and 1.411 million people present.”

“This does not include the assumed 240,000 people in the designated ticketholder areas. If all ticketholders are present, the number increases to 1.271 – 1.651 million people,” she said.


Puccioni continued, saying, “Our margin is dependent upon the estimated levels of crowd density, we used a conservative estimate for the allotted area, then a higher-end estimate for the same area, hence the spread.”

Three points to note about the estimate:

This does not include those people present in the federal buildings that were specifically open to the public – the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, the Old Post Office, the FAA buildings (East and West), and the Ford Senate house. I cannot estimate the number of people who were in those buildings.

The satellite image does not extend over the White House, Farragut Square, McPherson Square, Franklin Square, and Lafayette Square (though Lafayette doesn’t matter as it is a designated ticketholder area). There may likely be people present there too.

The flux of people outside Smithsonian Metro Station, Union Station, and the apparent security checkpoints strongly indicates that people are still flowing into this event at the time of satellite image acquisition.

Source: IHS Jane's




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OhBOY! January 22, 2009 10:04 pm (Pacific time)

1.4 million people generated 140 TONS of garbage and left it scattered about town. Couldn't be bothered to respect our capital...

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