I admit I was flying in the stratosphere yesterday as our new president was being sworn in. Here's a link to a satellite photo taken of the Washington, D.C., mall just under an hour before our 44th president was sworn in. You can zoom in and cruise around the photo, but I don't think you'll see Barack anywhere. One trivia bit: clean-up crews today are removing 130 tons of garbage from the mall area.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mdr's picture
mdr says:

That is impressive!

posted on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 6:05pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Here's a story on the math behind estimating crowd sizes at events like the inaugural. Looks like there's a pretty wide margin of error on this. And upon further review, there might have been almost half as many people at the event – 800,000 – than what originally was reported.

posted on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 4:45pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I was wondering about the official count myself. And glad to see that the article you linked to mentioned that the National Park Service has generally stopped publishing crowd estimates after some public disputes over the numbers.

Before the inauguration, I tried to imagine the projected crowd of 2 to 4 million people. The only comparable event I could think of was the New Year's Celebration in Times Square, 1999. As it turns out, the New York City police department also generally declines to provide estimates of crowd sizes for the same reason. But Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of the city at the time (and presumably privy to NYPD info), pegged the crowd at close to 2 million people.** Sounds like the inauguration crowd was roughly the same size.

If 1.8 million people doesn't wow you, consider this: the US Census Bureau estimated the 2008 population of Washington D.C. at 591,833 people. So the crowd on the National Mall was some three times bigger than the entire official population of the city.

**I particularly liked the last quote in the article. See? That's how we can put our differences aside and move on. :)

posted on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 4:58pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Here's a little more about the DC population, from Wikipedia:

"If Washington, D.C. were a state, it would rank last in area (behind Rhode Island), second-to-last in population (ahead of Wyoming), first in population density, 35th in gross state product, and first in percentage of African Americans, which would make Washington, D.C., a minority-majority state."

"During the workweek, however, the number of commuters from the suburbs into the city swells the District's population by an estimated 71.8% in 2005, to a daytime population of over one million people. The Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia, is the eighth-largest in the United States with more than five million residents. When combined with Baltimore and its suburbs, the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area has a population exceeding eight million residents, the fourth-largest in the country."

posted on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 5:12pm
DO's picture
DO says:

By noon on the 20th the metro (subway) had sold 400,000 tickets!

posted on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 1:12pm

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