9/12 Washington DC Tea Party Rally – Crowd Estimation

September 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm (9/12, Crowd Estimation, Protest, Rally, Tea Party, Washington DC)

Revision (4)
Max Total Estimation: 133,000
Min Total Estimation: 124,000

For the past week or so, there have been many speculative assumptions with regard to the number of people who attended the Tea Party rally in Washington on 9/12. And just as many as there were participants, there are unsubstantiated figures that are finding their way into every drollery conversation on this subject matter — hence a volition for creation of this very post. First and foremost allow me to clarify that the intention of this entry is not to reprobate nor to relish admiration for the event or its participants. And I will make sure the comments adhere to orderly civil discourse on the subject matter which is the size estimation of crowd and “nothing else.” We can all find other posts — even on this oft-abandoned blog — to berate and censure each other. Nonetheless, this is NOT one of them. Let me reiterate this again, I don’t care if you are a moonbat leftist or a wingnut rightist; that does not concern me nor should you bring your ideological zeal on this particular post, period.

In theory, a methodology employed for crowed estimation is exceedingly simple: review as many pictures and clips of the event, survey the boundaries in areas where the crowd congregated, examine the density of the attendees in certain range, calculate the area of each segment (in sqft) and finally used the aforementioned data to determine the max and min of people in each block and total the tally at the end. This is easier said than done because of the fact such projection is time-variant. At best, you always wish to take a snapshot of the entire crowd at a given time — hopefully at the most populated moment. Unfortunately, such contingency is not realized when there is no aerial photo at a proper juncture when the area is at its highest population density. So the best possible structural examination I could come up with was to attribute crowd density to each block and run the appropriate calculation base on a following formula:

Σ(Fraction of Crowd with Certain Density) × (Total Area of a Block)/(Density Calculated Based on Square Footage per Person)

The “fraction of crowd with certain density” and “Density Calculated Based on Square Footage per Person” are determined by an overall assessment of photos at the most crowded moment while taking into the account the timing status of other sections with various densities. That is, if two segments of a block, “a” and “b“, at time “t” have crowd density of “d1” and “d2,” respectively, but at time “t1” have crowd density of “d3” and “d4” and d1 < d3, d2 > d4, appropriate considerations are credited in selection for the smallest discrepancy among the recorded densities.

For instance if s < d1 – d2 > 0 (a sign that at time slot t, density of certain segment was greater than a density of that same section at later time, t1, but not bigger than a number, s, which represents a small change) but b < d2 – d4 < 0 (where |b| represents a greater absolute difference among the densities at times t and t1), then the disparity between the density of certain area at various eons becomes self evident. For the sake of fairness, I decided to take the largest density of “a” region with the “least time variant” parameter. That is to say, if the change in the highest density — or even magnitude of a region with certain density (fraction) — is the least altered in a time slot “with respect” to other regions’ density-time fluctuation, then that particular density and the area it represents is chosen.

[???] What does all this concocted technical jargon even mean you may ask? Let me put it in simple words (read: don’t get your hopes high), the best possible areal density evaluation for “a” well defined enclosure is intrinsically interdependent of all the other densities belonging to other mutually exclusive parts (I know, I failed to simplify). We cannot take the crowdedness of one area at time x and have it recorded while using a crowd density of other regions at time y when a) x and y have a large differential gap b) the density of blocks independently varies dramatically from time x to time y [1].

This is crucial when the images and clips are reviewed and their per unit volume discrepancies at different time continuance becomes apparent. It’s like placing 10 people in a first room of a 5-bedroom house and present them to a visitor, then take them to the following remaining rooms, one by one, and at the end, pretend that there are 50 people living in the house with 10 occupants in each room! We simply moved the same group of people around, a sort of rearrangement of units. Same dilemma persists in this case; we can’t simply examine a photo taken at certain time frame, record an evaluated density, move on to the next still which was taken 3 hours later at some location across the field and mark its density and have it used in calculations. Therefore, the ultimate goal is to have a “snapshot” of all the blocks at the vertex of their highest concentrated compactness when the density for all parts differentiates the least in a defined time period — a multi-dimensional matrix of equations with the factorial degree of complexity [1].

Which brings us to the dreaded moment of truth: yes! Ultimately, the main domain for our calculation — density — comes down to one’s “feeling,” albeit the best educated one by analyzing, assessing, and reassessing countless of still imagery and videos and deducing the best possible density for all the blocks. I don’t want to be a bearer of bad news here but the only true way to quantify the figures is to have a live satellite beaming down its lens and having it take snap shots of high resolution photos at short intervals, then have a software program perform a complex array of head count and output a comparatively selected maximum number (good luck locating aunt Sally under a 100-year-old oak tree though) [1].

The biggest misconception arises when the reader assumes that since at time y, certain regions had a much higher density than the earlier times, we must assign a higher density accordingly — that’s a faulty presumption. The reason is, as it has been discussed, we are looking for the snapshot of all the blocks at their apical of density “relative” to every other block. So evaluating a density of block “a” at time y might require readjusting all other block’s crowdedness with respect to time frame y as well which could decrease the density for one or more of the regions and result in inaccurate reading [2].

So when did the rally have the largest number of attendees with the highest density of each block relative to all other areas? Well, according to my chronological examination of thousands of stills and videos, I would put the time frame somewhere around 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. Also note that the speakers began their scheduled program at 1:00 PM [5].

The “total area of a block” is self explanatory however, it should also be mentioned that due to irregular shape of each block, the calculation of areas was lax and somewhat generous. The map used for this task is taken from Google Map, Washington D.C.-Capitol Hill, in 100ft (50m) echelon (you can verify it by comparing the two in case you are skeptical of diffraction grating offered here). The per person square footage used in calculations are as following:

  • Extremely Dense: 1.5 × 1.75 ~ 2.5 sqft, after some consideration, it was brought to my attention that 2.5 sqft was indeed a prevailing density for certain enclaves. this might be a contentious figure due to the fact that a regular person, when standing still with arms placed on his side, would take up 3+ ft width-wise and almost 2.5 ft from front to back. However, in very densely packed events (e.g. front rows of concerts), this measurement is in parallel with reality [5].
  • Dense: 2 × 2.5 = 5 sqft, Some may suggest that taking large fraction of a block as too dense would skew and inflate the numbers unfairly therefore I should attribute them solely to small areas where people are literally embracing each other very tightly. That is true but for the sake of everyone’s elation, I have decided to plug in this density to a larger fraction of each region where crowdedness appears to be palpable. So basically it all comes down to how big a “fraction” or “frequency” of dense area is being considered which eventually plays a bigger role in hyping or lowering the numbers.

    Another point that shouldn’t be missed, and I am not trying to disparage or disrespect anyone, is that, from the photos, a certain percentage of the attendees were a bit on a larger side of scale. Again, I’m not trying to generalize or label anyone as being morbidly obese but rather pointing that such actuality should be noted for the sake of accuracy of measurement. Nevertheless, I have decided to forgo the scrutiny and lump everyone as being moderately “fit.”

  • Moderately-Dense: 3 × 2.5 = 7.5 sqft, this is a more realistic scenario in which, even though people are not crawling on top of each other, manage to stand closely shoulder-to-shoulder by each other.
  • Relaxed: 4 × 3 = 12 sqft
  • Breather: 5 × 5 = 25 sqft
  • Arm-Length: 7 × 5 = 35 sqft, a person can extend his arm freely without physically striking people around him.
  • Dispersed: 8 × 5 = 40 sqft, this density is extremely close to the previous one and merely used to satisfy certain visual discrepancies encountered in the images.
  • Happy-Camper: 10 × 6 = 60 sqft

Some suggested to use the marching order to estimate the numbers. To do that, first we have to calculate the area covered from 14th St all the way down to Pennsylvania Ave. and Capitol Hill, area in which each demonstrator environs and make a division, and finally divide them up to tally the number of participants. If the width the Pennsylvania Ave is taken as 100ft and length of the street as more than a mile (i.e. 5500 ft), then the area of that stretch is roughly 550,000 sqft. Assuming each protester takes up around 8-12 sqft while “marching,” then one can speculate that around 50,000 to 70,000 attended the rally. This method does not deliberate on the speed in which the protesters are moving (i.e. 3-5 mph!) and how many could possibly squeeze out of each end of the rally (i.e. 14th and 3rd St.) which could add another 20,000 to the total. I find this particular arrangement unreliable and rather estimate the crowd when everybody is stationary.

Below you can find a map attached to this post where it has been subdivided into 13 areas/blocks (click on the image to access the larger resolution 1305 × 1253, 780 KB). For each block, I will first show the area’s calculation for the colored shape, then proceed to project the max and min of crowd using the formula discussed above, and finally a list of pertinent photos and clips that have been utilized to determine the parameters for the calculation. Moreover, the “majority” of the figures have been rounded “up” except when a calculated number is too close to the lower bound (i.e. 4396 becomes 4500 and 1016 becomes 1000) — of course for larger figures, rounding “up” could mean an increase of 500+ or even 4-digit surge. The direction of compass used to reference blocks and areas in the following section is not of Google Map’s but rather the “northern” point of reference was chosen to be the Capitol Hill. So if one is facing the Capitol Hill, the right hand side becomes east and the left hand side becomes west (in reality this corresponds to north and south in Google Map, respectively).

Another important pointer that I must share is that certain individuals (and I’m pretty sure there are a lot of you out there) who sophomorically might look at a picture and suggest that certain parameters (e.g. density) should be reconsidered with higher degree. Such misinterpretation of an image stems from an optical density illusion (a term borrowed from one of the commentors, cluebattingcage; allow me to elaborate). Such false apparition occurs when eyes view the object — crowd in this case — from a lowered angle which might give a false perception to the fact that there are more of that object than really is. If a viewer take on a higher position, this illusion of numbers (or density) diminishes and ultimately, in birds-eye-view (i.e. satellite images or a photo from a chopper) would allow for better density determination. So keep this in mind as you browse the photos or parse the video clips.

Finally, when I pulled all the germane photos, I also recorded the “time of capture” for each image through image properties (i.e. EXIF data). Reviewing the timestamps reveals that these data are unreliable because not all cameras are synced and many have erroneous configurations. Notwithstanding, I included them after each hyperlink and noted the ones with inaccurate date/time. In many references I use the term “Reflecting Pool” in substitution of “Capitol Reflecting Pool” as opposed to “Lincoln Memorial’s Reflecting Pool.” You can view the original one and Rev. 1 here if you wish to compare progressive readjustment.

9.12 Tea Party Crowd Estimation

A map below is a color coded density of the entire rally. Each colored region represents a boundary in which the crowd had the attributed density, for instance, a blue segment shows that the people located in that area had a 7.5 sqft/person density. You can find legend for color-density key-value below [4]:

  • 2.5 sqft = Olive Drab [5]
  • 5 sqft = Red
  • 7.5 sqft = Blue
  • 12 sqft = Green
  • 25 sqft = Yellow
  • 35 sqft = Orchid
  • 40 sqft = Cyan
  • 60 sqft = Violet Red
  • No Density = White
  • Unknown Density or inapplicable = Black

Every picture, still, or clip is also color coded with one or more ticks (“»“) which indicates what set of density was extrapolated from the resource. Note that certain images may depict multiple blocks but the tick merely represents the area in which it is being examined under. For instance, if a still shows block x and y where the density in block x is a and the density in block y is b, and the resource is being presented under block y, then density “b” is what we are interested in, not “a” which belongs to area x. A resource can contain multiple densities therefore one or more colors assign to it [4]. You can find Rev. 1 of density map and Rev. 2 of density map here. Also, I have included the PSD (photoshop) version of density map (~10 MB). Right click on the link and select “Save as” or “Save link as” and download it as “.ppt” and rename the extension to “.psd” because WordPress is picking as to what file format one can upload to their servers [5].

9.12 Tea Party Crowd Estimation

Remember, this is NOT about your bruised ego so keep your mind free of bias and try not to smash the monitor if you “feel” a certain number is too high or too low.

  1. Eastern Lawn
  2. Garfield Circle
  3. Maryland Ave. Parking Lot
  4. Podium and the Buffer Zone
  5. Front Lawn
  6. East Capitol Circle and Grant Memorial
  7. Western Lawn
  8. Peace Circle and Constitution Ave.
  9. Pennsylvania Ave. Parking Lot
  10. Reflecting Pool Margin
  11. Reflecting Pool Perimeter
  12. 3rd St.
  13. 3rd St. and Constitution Ave.

(1) Eastern Lawn

Block 1 Density

This is an area covered from a line close to the eastern wing of the Capitol Hill building, limited by South Capitol Circle in the south (or lower boundary) and in the north (upper boundary) by the pathway that is the extension of line going through Garfield Circle and Maryland Ave. parking lot all the way to the Capitol Hill steps.

Rev. 3

1/6 × 113000/2.5 ~ 7,500
1/6 × 113000/5 ~ 3,800
1/6 × 113000/7.5 ~ 2,500
1/3 × 113000/12 ~ 3,150
1/6 × 113000/25 ~ 750

Max total ~ 17,700
Min total ~ 17,700

Rev. 2 (Block 1 density map, Rev. 2)
3.1 × 5 – [(3.5 × 2)/2] – [(1 × 0.5)/2] – [(0.5 × 1)/2] – [(0.5 × 0.75)/2] = 15.5 – 3.5 – 0.25 – 0.25 – 0.19 ~ 11.3 × 100² ~ 113,000 sqft

2/5 × 113000/5 ~ 9,100
1.5/15 × 113000/7.5 ~ 1,500
1/5 × 113000/12 ~ 1,900
1.5/5 × 113000/25 ~ 1,400

Max total ~ 14,000

1/3 × 113000/5 ~ 7,500
1/9 × 113000/7.5 ~ 1,700
2/9 × 113000/12 ~ 2,100
1/3 × 113000/25 ~ 1,500

Min total ~ 12,800

Rev. 1
3.1 × 5 – [(3.5 × 2)/2] – [(1 × 0.5)/2] – [(0.5 × 1)/2] – [(0.5 × 0.75)/2] = 15.5 – 3.5 – 0.25 – 0.25 – 0.19 ~ 11.3 × 100² ~ 113,000 sqft

3/5 × 113000/5 ~ 13,600
1/5 × 113000/7.5 ~ 3,000
1/5 × 113000/12 ~ 1,900

Max total ~ 18,500

1/2 × 113000/5 ~ 11,300
3/10 × 113000/12 ~ 2,900
2/10 × 113000/25 ~ 900

Min total ~ 15,100

Original
4.75 × 4 – [(3.3 × 0.8)/2] – [(0.8 × 2)/2] – [(4 × 1.3)/2] = 19 – 1.32 – 0.8 – 2.6 = 14.3 × 100² ~ 143,000 sqft

3/4 × 143000/5 ~ 21,500
1/8 × 143000/12 ~ 1,500
1/8 × 143000/25 ~ 720

Max total ~ 24,000

3/5 × 143000/5 ~ 17,200
1/5 × 143000/12 ~ 2,400
1/5 × 143000/25 ~ 2,000

Min total ~ 21,600

» The East lawn of the Capitol, closer to South Capital Circle and the 1st St SW, an outer passageway, facing the US Botanic Garden observatories – Rayburn building in the background (September 12, 2009 at 1.01pm EDT)

» East of the Capitol Hill taken close to the Independence Ave. — note that the crowd is merely extended to the outer passageway of the east lawn. Even though it appears that people are packed together, it doesn’t make it so because the picture was taken from far away which creates such illusion therefore the density cannot be extrapolate via this image (September 12, 2009 at 12.04pm EDT)

» Facing the steps from the East lawn of Capitol Hill, close to the eastern wing of the building. If the timestamps created by the camera is accurate, it’ll explain the scarcity of crowd (September 12, 2009 at 2.59pm EDT)

» » Taken from the eastern lawn’s closest walkway to the building facing the line passing through an extension of Maryland Ave SW and Garfield Circle — due to later on in the evening, the lawn does not look fully populated (September 12, 2009 at 2.59pm EDT)

» Close to South Capitol Circle and the 1st St. on the eastern lawn – not fully populated (September 12, 2009 at 2.46pm EDT)

» » Eastern lawn of Capitol Hill — the deepest accented columns on the eastern part of the Capitol building coincides with the high density segment of block (1) (September 12, 2009 at 2.46pm EDT)

» » The pathway on the right is the one that goes from South Capitol Circle to the east wing of the Capitol Hill building — a high[er] density appears to begin from the middle of the Capitol Hill building’s eastern chamber (September 12, 2009 at 2.53pm EDT)

» » » Taken in a proximity of steps and east wing of the Capitol building shooting through Grand Memorial all the way to the 3rd St.. Doesn’t say much about this particular block though (September 12, 2009 at 2.02pm EDT)

» » On the east lawn close to the Garfield Circle facing the dome. If the timestamps is correct, then a moderately heavier density segment reaches a parallel line to the eastern chamber. What is certain is the 12+ sqft density can be applied to the people closer to the camera (September 12, 2009 at 12.01pm EDT)

» Eastern lawn close to the east wing of the Capitol building — people leaning on the fence (September 12, 2009 at 12.56pm CDT)

» Eastern lawn close to the Capitol steps and podium — the timestamps and the crowd compactness don’t match (September 12, 2009 at 12.55pm CDT)

» » On the eastern lawn close to the building facing toward South Capitol Circle, Garfield Circle and the US Botanic Garden — several points. Observing closely to the left of the photo, it appears that the 1st St. near the Independence Ave. is very much crowded but only to the line drawn parallel to the facade of the US Botanic Garden. Second, all the to the right and behind the trees, it looks like the back of Maryland Ave. parking lot is equally congested with people although it’s hard to make up the density (September 12, 2009 at 12.55pm CDT)

» » Facing the US Botanic Garden and South Capitol Circle more to the back segment of the eastern lawn — crowd closer to the camera provide a better understanding of density distribution then rows of planted people on a horizontal space (September 12, 2009 at 12.54pm CDT)

» » » » » Off of Capitol steps facing the Garfield Circle — notice the back of the eastern lawn closer to Independence Ave. and 1st St are empty that’s due to the time lapse which gears toward the end of the rally. In other word, not the best photo to judge the density (September 12, 2009 at 3.31am EDT)

» » » Facing the crowd on the eastern lawn all the way to the 1st St. — very difficult to guesstimate the crowd density as the distance is just way too up (September 11, 2009 at 9.09pm PDT)

» » crowd close to the Garfield Circle inclined toward the eastern lawn (September 12, 2009 at 2.37pm PDT)

» » » A footage from the terrace area focusing on eastern lawn at 3:40 — again, due to the distance, it’s very difficult to estimate the densities at various parts. However, you can see the eastern lawn is almost fully populated (inside the “outer” pathway)

» » » 0:36 – Eastern lawn (earlier into the program, the populated area appears more dense) — once again, since the resolution is low and the angle does not provide a better understanding of crowdedness, we cannot derive at a conclusive density

» » 1:55 – back of the Eastern lawn where crowd are more dispersed. Hard to determine at what juncture the crowd density jumps up but examining the position of building to the crowd, we can extrapolate the shot was taken at around center of the eastern lawn but closer to the East Capitol Circle

» » A sporadic video of eastern lawn at 7:52 closer to the East Capitol Circle — a crowd is much more dispersed at the back of the lawn but probably was taken was when the rally was winding down.

» » A video taken on the eastern lawn at 2:23 – a lot of folding chairs and seated people.
» 2:58 – reveals how far and dispersed the crowd had moved away on the eastern lawn.
» 3:31/3:47 – closer to the eastern wing of the Capitol building.
» And finally, at 3:59 you could see the pathway which marks the eastern boundary of the rally (no one is visible beyond this line as it has been marked on the map). 4:10 – shows an empty lot between the demonstrators and eastern wing of the Capitol Hill building.
» » 5:05 – the edge of the eastern lawn closest to the Capitol steps.
» 6:10 – front rows, notice the density.

» » » A video taken on the lower Capitol steps looking at the east lawn (0:42) — start of the program, height of the rally although the camera is a bit shaky and certainly does not provide a much needed resolution and closeness for density determination

» » » A crowd close to the edge of the eastern lawn facing the podium (September 12, 2009 at 2.41pm EDT)

» Taken off of the edge of the Garfield Circle and 1st St. facing the eastern lawn — I cannot verify the accuracy of the timestamps however this photo is a damning evidence to the extension of the crowd all the way to the “at least” slightly beyond the “outer” passageway of the eastern lawn and possibly to the 1st St. even though the density does not seem to be heavy (September 12, 2009 at 11.18am EDT)

» » At the back of the eastern lawn taken on the outer passage way (September 12, 2009 at 10.39am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » On the front lawn between the center and eastern side of the block (September 12, 2009 at 1.20pm EDT)

(2) Garfield Circle

Block 2 Density

An area surrounding the Garfield Circle and partial representation of 1st St. in addition to the eastern and front lawn area.

Rev. 4

1/9 × 82000/2.5 ~ 3,650
1/9 × 82000/5 ~ 1,800
1/9 × 82000/7.5 ~ 1,200
3.5/9 × 82000/12 ~ 2,700
2.5/9 × 82000/25 ~ 900

Max total ~ 10,250

1/9 × 82000/2.5 ~ 3,650
1/9 × 82000/5 ~ 1,800
1/9 × 82000/7.5 ~ 1,200
3/9 × 82000/12 ~ 2,300
3/9 × 82000/25 ~ 1,100

Min total ~ 10,000

Rev. 3 (Block 2 density map, Rev. 3)

1/6 × 82000/2.5 ~ 5,450
1/6 × 82000/5 ~ 2,700
1/6 × 82000/7.5 ~ 1,800
1.3/6 × 82000/12 ~ 1,500
1.7/6 × 82000/25 ~ 900

Max total ~ 12,400

0.8/6 × 82000/2.5 ~ 4,400
1/6 × 82000/5 ~ 2,700
0.8/6 × 82000/7.5 ~ 1,500
1.2/6 × 82000/12 ~ 1,400
2.2/6 × 82000/25 ~ 1,200

Min total ~ 11,200

Rev. 2 (Block 2 density map, Rev. 2)
3.1415 × [1.5² + 0.6²] = 8.2 × 100² ~ 82,000 sqft

1/3 × 82000/5 ~ 5,500
1/5 × 82000/7.5 ~ 2,200
1/5 × 82000/12 ~ 1,400
4/15 × 82000/25 ~ 900

Max total ~ 10,000

1/3 × 82000/5 ~ 5,500
2/15 × 82000/7.5 ~ 1,500
3/15 × 82000/12 ~ 1,400
1/3 × 82000/25 ~ 1,100

Min total ~ 9,500

3.1415 × [1.5² + 0.5²] = 7.9 × 100² ~ 79,000 sqft

Rev. 1
1/3 × 79000/7.5 ~ 3,500
4/9 × 79000/12 ~ 3,000
2/9 × 79000/25 ~ 700

Max total ~ 7,200

2/5 × 79000/7.5 ~ 4,200
1/5 × 79000/12 ~ 1,300
2/5 × 79000/25 ~ 1,300

Min total ~ 6,800

Original
2/3 × 79000/5 ~ 10,500
2/9 × 79000/7.5 ~ 2,400
1/9 × 79000/12 ~ 700

Max total ~ 13,600

2/5 × 79000/5 ~ 6,300
2/5 × 79000/7.5 ~ 4,200
1/5 × 79000/25 ~ 600

Min total ~ 11,100

» Close to the Garfield Circle — if the timestamps is correct, this one was taken later in the rally (September 12, 2009 at 2.40pm EDT)

» Facing the Garfield Circle and US Botanic Garden — note the circle is populated but hard to tell how far back on the Maryland Ave. parking lot the attendees go (September 12, 2009 at 2.43pm PDT)

» » Crowd to the west of the Garfield Circle on the East Capitol Circle — the resolution is too low to make up the density but superficially one can guess that at this juncture, it was probably more crowded (September 13, 2009 at 2.38am CDT [wrong timestamps])

» Facing the US Botanic Garden and Garfield Circle from the eastern edge of the circle (September 12, 2009 at 10.46pm EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Crowd on the edge of the Garfield Circle facing the Maryland Ave. parking lot — although people sitting on the short wall are blocking most of the view of the Circle, you still can observe the crowdedness of the area (September 12, 2009 at 11.26am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» View from the back of the front lawn facing the Garfield Circle although not much exposure of the circle. Crowd closer to the camera is a good example of optical density illusion (September 11, 2009 at 8.20pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» A video (0:20) on the edge of the Garfield Circle. Hard to say how far the crowd goes back but evidently, the crowd on the eastern edge of the Reflecting Pool is very much dense if not as dense as the rows on the front lawn

» » A short snippet clip of the Crowd on the edge of the Garfield Circle at 2:57 facing the Maryland Ave. parking lot shows a lower density than certain photos (2:15pm ET)

» Although situated outside of Garfield Circle but the photo marks the block’s boundaries — people walking away from the demonstration toward the US Botanic Garden (September 12, 2009 at 11.37am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Taken from the Garfield Circle facing right down the Maryland Ave. parking lot — either the timestamps is inaccurate or this is indeed the early arrivals of march (September 12, 2009 at 11.18am EDT)

» » » » A picture on the edge of Garfield Circle and first block facing the Grant Memorial — East Capitol Circle portion is crowded as usual (September 12, 2009 at 11.18am EDT)

(3) Maryland Ave. Parking Lot

Block 3 Density

An area east of the Reflecting Pool and west of the US Botanic Garden but not all the way stretched to the 3rd St because I haven’t seen a photo vouching for such claim.

Rev. 2
2.3 × 0.75 + 2 × 1/6 = 1.73 + 0.32 ~ 2 × 100² ~ 20,000 sqft

2/5 × 20000/12 ~ 700
1.5/5 × 20000/25 ~ 250*
1.5/5 × 20000/35 ~ 200

Max total ~ 1,150

1/3 × 20000/12 ~ 550
1/3 × 20000/25 ~ 300
1/3 × 20000/35 ~ 200

Min total ~ 1,050

Rev. 1
2.3 × 0.75 + 2 × 1/6 = 1.73 + 0.32 ~ 2 × 100² ~ 20,000 sqft

2/5 × 20000/7.5 ~ 1,100
1/5 × 20000/12 ~ 350
2/5 × 20000/35 ~ 250

Max total ~ 1,700

2/5 × 20000/7.5 ~ 1,100
3/5 × 20000/35 ~ 350

Min total ~ 1,450

Original
3.4 × 5/6 = 2.83 × 100² ~ 28,300 sqft

1/2 × 28300/7.5 ~ 1,900
1/4 × 28300/12 ~ 600
1/4 × 28300/25 ~ 300

Max total ~ 2,800

2/5 × 28300/12 ~ 950
1/5 × 28300/25 ~ 250
2/5 × 28300/35 ~ 350

Min total ~ 1,600

» » To the right, Maryland parking space and eastern edge of the Reflecting Pool – at the moment of capture of this particular picture, the crowd was more dispersed. However, at earlier time, the area closer to the Garfield Circle must have been more crowded (August 12, 2009 at 12.45pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» You can see on the left hand side of the photo that the back of the Maryland Ave. is literally empty — the associated text embedded in the image points to the fact that the time of capture was around 1:30 PM ET but not confirmed

» An interviewer strolls around Garfield Circle with Maryland Ave. visible in the background at 8:13 parallel to the Botanic Garden entrance. The lot is pretty much empty which signals the end of the rally as the Circle was indeed pretty much populated earlier on (time of capture could not be obtained)

» » Although not entirely related to this block but on the right side, behind the trees, you can see the back of the Maryland Ave. parking lot — the parking lot is equally congested with people although it’s hard to make up the density (September 12, 2009 at 12.55pm CDT)

(4) Podium and the Buffer Zone

I probably shouldn’t have dedicated any numbers to this block because the area was merely designated for organizers and affiliates, media crews, and guests/speakers. However, I saw a few lines of workers in some photos so I decided to include them in my final tally (they turned out to be Coal Industry Workers (0:20) brought to the protest as Cap & Trade was one of the main umbrage of the rally). Note that juxtaposing the images taken from this area with the one highlighted on my map, it becomes apparent that the boundaries represent a smaller region than of reality of the area but I’m willing to forgo of such deviation. Note that I’m marking all the related photos and clips as “unknown density” because there is no point assessing crowd in this particular block.

Rev. 2
Only the area was recalculated but the crowd estimate is not needed for this particular block

(2.3 + 2) × 1 × 1/2 = 2.1 × 100² ~ 21,000 sqft

Original
(2.3 + 2) × 5/6 × 1/2 = 1.8 × 100² ~ 18,000 sqft

Max total ~ 500
Min total ~ 300

» East of podium (September 12, 2009 at 2.41am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» Podium, a buffer zone and the media setup (September 12, 2009 at 2.47am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» East of podium facing the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 2.31am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» A closer view of the eastern side of the podium (September 12, 2009 at 2.16am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» Buffer zone and the media, facing the front and western lawn (September 12, 2009 at 2.16am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» View from the back of the stage facing the front lawn and the buffer zone (September 12, 2009 at 1.01am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» More view of the backstage (September 11, 2009 at 11.24pm EDT [wrong timestamps])

» A video of a decent 360 view of the buffer zone and the podium

» A snippet of this video depicts at what juncture the east lawn was delimited by the closest pathway running parallel to the Capitol building (2:53) — also note the density at various locations on the east lawn

» A close up capture of buffer zone close to the west lawn — spatially, it is larger than it is drawn on the map

(5) Front Lawn

Block 5 Density

This is by far the most crowded block and I attributed higher density to a larger portion of this block. At first glance, it might appear that the block must encompass a larger area but if you observe closely (consult the map), you’ll notice that the block has missing parts such as the two partially carved out circles in the lower edges and also the podium/buffer zone on the top. Moreover, juxtaposing the highlighted eastern and western lawns with the front lawn, such doubt should be immediately vanished.

Rev. 3
The front boundary of block (5) was altered to reflect a more accurate geometric size of the area (winged out on the edges where it meets the walkway stonewalls), hence a slight increase in dimension to 125,000 sqft.

1.1/5 × 125000/2.5 ~ 11,000*
1.9/5 × 125000/5 ~ 9,500
1.6/5 × 125000/7.5 ~ 5,300
0.4/5 × 125000/12 ~ 850

* Correction was made from 1.0 to 1.1 fractional and 10k to 11k population increase
Max total ~ 26,650

0.9/5 × 125000/2.5 ~ 9,000
1.8/5 × 125000/5 ~ 9,000
1.8/5 × 125000/7.5 ~ 6,000
0.5/5 × 125000/12 ~ 1,050

Min total ~ 25,050

Rev. 2 (Block 5 density map, Rev. 2)
After reviewing a number of stills taken from the buffer zone and specially the ones on the higher ground (i.e. Capitol steps), I concluded that the area of the front lawn is slightly smaller on the boundary aligned with the podium, therefore the recalculation was needed. And the reason for a slight increase despite a deduction of trivial area at the front row is that the prior to the latest recalculation, border boundaries on the left and right hadn’t been extended properly.

(2.5 + 4.3) × 2.1/2 + (4.3 + 5.4) × 1.3/2 – 2 × (1.1 × 1)/2 = 7.14 + 6.3 – 1.1 ~ 12.3 × 100² ~ 123,000 sqft

1/2 × 123000/5 ~ 12,300
2/5 × 123000/7.5 ~ 6,600
1/10 × 123000/12 ~ 1,000

Max total ~ 20,000

No Min calculation.

Min total ~ 20,000

Original
(2.3 + 4) × 2.5/2 + (4 + 5.1) × 1.1/2 – 2 × (1.1 × 1)/2 = 7.9 + 5 – 1.1 ~ 12 × 100² ~ 120,000 sqft

9/10 × 120000/5 ~ 21,600
1/10 × 120000/7.5 ~ 1,600

Max total ~ 24,000

4/5 × 120000/5 ~ 19,200
1/10 × 120000/7.5 ~ 1,600
1/10 × 120000/12 ~ 1,000

Min total ~ 21,800

» » Taken from the fountain area — notice the podium was erected on the lawn not the concrete courtyard. This image is a candidate for optical density illusion (September 12, 2009 at 3.34am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » A better picture taken at the fountain facing the front lawn, National Mall and Washington Monument — notice the empty pockets of space intentionally left unpopulated so the crowd can see the speakers. I’m not going to use this picture to speculate on block 8′s crowdedness (September 12, 2009 at 3.33am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » An angled shot from the front lawn — again not a good picture to extrapolate density at the back of the block but you can see a more spaciously relaxed areas near the East Capitol Circle (September 12, 2009 at 3.32am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Taken from the steps facing the front lawn and Peace Circle — notice the west segment of East Capitol Circle and Peace Circle are unpopulated (September 12, 2009 at 3.31am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Taken from the front lawn and bushes north of Grant Memorial (September 12, 2009 at 12.06pm PDT)

» » An area on the front lawn adjacent to the Peace Circle (September 12, 2009 at 2.19pm EDT)

» » » Another “overall” scenic picture taken from the front lawn of the Capitol Hill, all the way to the outer margin of Reflecting Pool — hard to speculate the crowd density but one can certainly suggest that it fits 5/7.5 sqft/person (September 12, 2009 at 3.33am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Clearly the buffer zone might look a bit larger than expected — note that there are crowd behind the trees on the right hand side which I referred to as a western border of the block (September 12, 2009 at 3.32am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Crowd on the front rows near the podium facing to the eastern lawn — Coal Industry workers sitting on the lawn on the foreground (September 12, 2009 at 2.16am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Close to Garfield Circle — notice the spaces created for better viewership in this vicinity (September 12, 2009 at 2.44pm PDT)

» » » Taken from the front lawn facing the East Capitol Circle and Grant Memorial (half way on the front lawn and the podium) — notice that people are NOT crammed but rather there is a comfortable space placed among the crowd (September 12, 2009 at 1.41pm PDT)

» » » Facing the East lawn and US Botanic Garden (closer to the podium) but taken from the crowd on the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 1.41pm PDT)

» » » Facing the dome (closer to the podium) (September 14, 2009 at 11.04am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Good picture from the podium showing the front lawn all the way to the Grant Memorial statues. The front rows are densely packed (September 12, 2009 at 1.27pm PDT)

» Taken near the Garfield Circle and close to the eastern lawn facing the Capitol Hill — notice in previous pictures around this vicinity the density was a bit lower but as the area approaches a more open space, more people lined up to have a better view of the podium (September 13, 2009 at 2.17am CDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » A view from the front lawn and Grant Memorial facing the Capitol Hill a bit to the west — the compactness is hard to justify from this angle (September 12, 2009 at 2.32pm EDT)

» A view from the Grant Memorial facing the Capitol Hill slightly to to the east (September 12, 2009 at 2.32pm EDT)

» » » » Close to East Capitol Circle facing facing the front lawn crowd — notice big gaps on the right hand corner (September 12, 2009 at 1.57pm EDT)

» A view from the Grant Memorial statues facing the dome and front lawn crowd. Obviously, I’m not going to use this particular sill to justify any density as the resolution is too low (September 12, 2009 at 3.10pm PDT)

» » » » A wider angle snap of the crowd on the front lawn close to the Garfield Circle — notice holes among the crowd at this juncture (September 12, 2009 at 10.46pm EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Back of the front lawn close to the East Capitol Circle — crowd is more dispersed but take a heed of the time (September 12, 2009 at 2.15pm PDT)

» » Close to the East Capitol Circle taken from the crowd on the front lawn slightly to the west — notice the gaps (September 12, 2009 at 2.06pm PDT)

» » » Taken from the west lawn of the crowd on the edge of the front lawn — speculating that this image was produced earlier in the program, the crowd was much more dense at time

» Crowd on the front law closer to the Garfield Circle all the way to the Grant Memorial (September 12, 2009 at 11.26am PDT)

» On the Grand Memorial steps facing the Capitol Hill not a good picture to assess density but overall feeling of the surrounding

» Taken close to East Capitol Circle facing to the eastern lawn — notice the space on the eastern lawn being completely empty. A female Police officer on the left leaning against a tree (September 12, 2009 at 12.05pm PDT)

» » » Taken from the Grant Memorial steps — not a right photo to estimate the “front lawn’s” density (September 12, 2009 at 10.26am CDT)

» » » Shot from the Grant Memorial steps facing the Capitol dome — the crowd on the front lawn are too far away for me to speculate on the density (September 12, 2009 at 12.53pm PDT)

» » Taken on the front lawn close to the Peace Circle — the density is dispersed (September 12, 2009 at 1.51pm PDT)

» » View from the terrace (top of the stairs) looking down on to the front lawn and Pennsylvania Ave. — notice a huge buffer zone gap on the right hand side of the podium which was corrected on newer colored maps (September 11, 2009 at 9.09pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Facing down the Maryland Ave. with eastern lawn and front lawn in the frame — good picture to determine the boundaries but not so much for density (September 11, 2009 at 9.09pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » Another wide angle photo facing the front lawn and Reflecting pool (September 11, 2009 at 9.09pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Shooting down the Pennsylvania Ave. and Peace Circle — from the western corner of the front lawn vantage point, crowd leaning against the buffer zone fences (September 11, 2009 at 8.20pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » View of the Garfield Circle and the front lawn — due to lowered angle of the shot, it is difficult to determine the density (September 11, 2009 at 8.20pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Back of the front lawn close to the East Capitol Circle facing the Grant Memorial statues — more dispersed than usual so I’m assuming it was taken a bit into the program (September 12, 2009 at 12.33pm PDT)

» Facing the Grant Memorial and East Capitol Circle from the front lawn slightly to the west — as the two sections merge, the crowd density lowered (September 12, 2009 at 12.27pm PDT)

» » Front lawn captured at 3:36 — clip is too fuzzy to be any use for the density estimation but allows you to draw the boundaries

» » A higher vantage point video of the front lawn and Grant Memorial where crowd standing close to the East Capitol Circle — you can see that there is a lot of space among the crowd on the front lawn closer to the foreground

» » A video at 3:22 captures the vicinity — note that at this point, the rally was winding down so don’t assume the front lawn was as crowd-scarce as it was at its zenith

» » Another video from the edge of the Garfield Circle facing the podium (first few seconds) — time of capture cannot be determined but it depicts the vicinity as being crowded

» » A video taken at the end of the rally taken off the front lawn — the description puts the time at 2:52pm ET

» » » Taken in the middle of front lawn facing the Capitol dome — heed the density (September 12, 2009 at 11.04am EDT)

» Taken from the east side of the front lawn facing the East Capitol Circle — some people are using folding chairs not as dense as the front rows (September 12, 2009 at 10.54am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» » A video taken on the Capitol steps facing the front lawn at 0:32 — start of the program, height of the rally

» » Crowd on the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 1.27am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» Taken almost in the middle of the front lawn at 6:35 onward — take a note on the density of crowd; a bit looser than other videos and pictures

» » » An 180 degree view of front lawn at 4:37 and 7:46 close to the Garfield Circle where it’s less densely packed.
» » At 8:07 you may view the compactness of the “front row” crowd; 5 sqft per person is justified

» Standing on the front lawn closer to the street — the density is lowered in the middle and beyond (September 12, 2009 at 1.00pm PDT)

» » Facing the East Capitol Circle, photo taken from the crowd on the western corner of the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 1.00pm PDT)

» Crowd right in the middle of the front lawn — notice the crowd density closer to the camera (September 12, 2009 at 12.12pm PDT)

(6) East Capitol Circle and Grant Memorial

Block 6 Density

A block encompassing an area between the Reflecting Pool and the front lawn, bounded from Peace Circle and Garfield Circle on the west and the east, respectively. Note, as the rally progressed, an area starting at the Grand Memorial statues up to the East Capitol Circle became desolate, nonetheless, at the height of the rally, it was crowded. A small “white” half circle is an indication of door-wall placed between block 6 and 5; even though several of videos and photos shows the vicinity almost empty, I included it in the calculation because the increase is trivia however it’s marked on the color coded density map.

Rev. 4

1/7 × 72000/2.5 ~ 4,100
1/4 × 72000/5 ~ 3,600
1/4 × 72000/7.5 ~ 2,400
1/4 × 72000/12 ~ 1,500
3/28 × 72000/40 ~ 200

Max total ~ 11,800

1/7 × 72000/2.5 ~ 4,100
0.9/4 × 72000/5 ~ 3,200
1.1/4 × 72000/7.5 ~ 2,600
0.9/4 × 72000/12 ~ 1,350
3.7/28 × 72000/40 ~ 250

Min total ~ 11,500

Rev. 3 (Block 6 density map, Rev. 3)

1/5 × 72000/2.5 ~ 5,800
0.8/5 × 72000/5 ~ 2,300
1.2/5 × 72000/7.5 ~ 2,300
1.3/5 × 72000/12 ~ 1,600
0.7/5 × 72000/40 ~ 250

Max total ~ 12,250

1/6 × 72000/2.5 ~ 4,800
0.7/5 × 72000/5 ~ 2,000
1.3/5 × 72000/7.5 ~ 2,500
1.3/5 × 72000/12 ~ 1,500
5.2/30 × 72000/40 ~ 300

Min total ~ 11,100

Rev. 2 (Block 6 density map, Rev. 2)
(1 + 5/6) × 3 + (1.3 × 1.15)/2 + (1.5 × 1.15)/2 = 5.5 + 0.75 + 0.86 ~ 72,000 sqft

1/3 × 72000/5 ~ 4,800
1/3 × 72000/7.5 ~ 3,200
4/21 × 72000/12 ~ 1,200
1/7 × 72000/40 ~ 300

Max total ~ 9,500

1/3 × 72000/5 ~ 4,800
1/3 × 72000/7.5 ~ 3,200
2/15 × 72000/12 ~ 800
1/5 × 72000/40 ~ 360

Min total ~ 9,200

Rev. 1
(1 + 5/6) × 3 + (1.3 × 1.15)/2 + (1.5 × 1.15)/2 = 5.5 + 0.75 + 0.86 ~ 72,000 sqft

5/6 × 72000/5 ~ 12,000
1/6 × 72000/7.5 ~ 1,600

Max total ~ 13,600

4/5 × 72000/5 ~ 11,500
2/15 × 72000/7.5 ~ 1,300
1/15 × 72000/12 ~ 400

Min total ~ 13,200

Original
3 × 1.7 + 5/6 × 1.1 + (1.85 × 1.1)/2 = 5.1 + 1 + 1 = 7.1 × 100² ~ 71,000 sqft

4/5 × 71000/5 ~ 11,400
1/5 × 71000/7.5 ~ 2,000

Max total ~ 13,500

7/10 × 71000/5 ~ 10,000
2/7 × 71000/7.5 ~ 2,700
1/7 × 71000/12 ~ 850

Min total ~ 13,500

» Taken from the south of the Reflecting Pool, facing the Capitol — notice a gap between the pool and Grant Memorial statues and East Capitol Circle (September 12, 2009 at 2.49pm EDT)

» On the East Capitol Circle facing the dome (September 12, 2009 at 2.25pm EDT)

» shot of the statues on Grant Memorial — not many people captured on this still (September 12, 2009 at 11.51am EDT)

» Crowd on the East Capitol Circle and Grant statues (September 12, 2009 at 2.45pm PDT)

» West lawn close to the East Capitol Circle facing the Grant statues — the density has been diminished (September 12, 2009 at 2.37pm PDT)

» On the right hand side of the photo, you can see the eastern part of the East Capitol Circle (not to be confused with South Capitol Circle)

» A view taken from the Grant Memorial facing the Capitol Hill a bit to the West — a more challenging still to extrapolate the density for this block (September 12, 2009 at 2.32pm EDT)

» A view from the Grant Memorial facing the Capitol Hill a bit to the East (September 12, 2009 at 2.32pm EDT)

» » Facing the Capitol, you can see the crowd walking on the East Capitol Circle — an area between the Grant Memorial and the front lawn was used extensively for people to get across different part of the rally so the crowd density would be capricious by nature (September 12, 2009 at 2.26pm EDT)

» Facing the Grant Memorial on the East Capitol Circle right before the bushes — a great estimation of crowd density (September 12, 2009 at 1.55pm EDT)

» A view from the Grant Memorial statues — although the resolution does not permit to reach a conclusive result, it is necessary to note the crowdedness of this area (September 12, 2009 at 3.10pm PDT)

» Picture taken on the western side of the East Capitol Circle facing the Grant Memorial statues close to Peace Circle

» On the Grand Memorial steps facing the Capitol Hill — the density is more loose than the crowd behind the bushes for obvious visibility reason

» » » The crowd viewed from western side of the block 6 facing the Grant Memorial statues — as you can see, the crowd density is very high (September 12, 2009 at 11.05am PDT)

» » Taken from the Grant Memorial steps — the view is restricted by the head shots (September 12, 2009 at 10.26am CDT)

» Shot from the Grant Memorial steps facing the Capitol dome (September 12, 2009 at 12.53pm PDT)

» » A view from the top of the Grant Memorial statues facing the US Botanic Garden and Maryland Ave. parking lot — the crowd is dwindling in numbers at this point (September 14, 2009 at 11.45am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Facing the Grant Memorial from the front law slightly to the west — good density (September 12, 2009 at 1.43pm PDT)

» » Facing the Grant Memorial and East Capitol Circle from the front lawn slightly to the west (September 12, 2009 at 12.27pm PDT)

» A video at 0:57 taken from the terrace of the Capitol Hill zooming at the Grant Memorial — definitely not suited for crowd density estimate but merely boundary marking

» » Captured at the Grant Memorial facing the Capitol Hill — not many people present on the Memorial steps, an area behind the bushes adjacent to the East Capitol Circle. It appears that at this particular time, the rally was dwindling down.

» » A video from the higher vantage point of the front lawn and Grant Memorial at 0:09 where crowd standing close to the East Capitol Circle. At 0:22 you notice a circular empty zone due to a stone door frame + bushes planted on the border of block 1 and 6

» A short capture of East Capitol Circle and Grant Memorial at 0:38 even though the camera is mounted too low, it illustrates a lower density than the front lawn

» A video taken on the East Capitol Circle at 1:18 – notice the crowd density and how many are mobile

» » » A very accurate estimation of crowd on East Capitol Circle with 180 degree view at 4:04 — early in the program and the area is not only wall to wall covered but the crowdedness appears to be dense

» » A view from the top of the Grant Memorial statues looking down on the East Capitol Circle — less dense compare to ECC for obvious visibility reason (September 12, 2009 at 1.05pm PDT)

» » Taken on atop one of the stone lions facing down on the East Capitol Circle — notice the crowd density at the bottom of the picture (September 12, 2009 at 1.21pm EDT)

» Another photo taken on Grant Memorial steps facing the Capitol doom — notice the crowd density at the bottom of the picture (September 12, 2009 at 12.31pm PDT)

» Picture taken of the Grant Memorial the Maryland Ave. parking lot — moderate density but not packed (September 12, 2009 at 1.24pm EDT)

(7) Western Lawn

Block 7 Density

An area bounded by the closest pathway to the western wing of the Capitol Hill in the north, South Capitol Circle in the West, Peace Circle in the south, and a passageway extension of Pennsylvania Ave. all the way to the Capitol stairs on the east.

Rev. 3

1/5 × 108000/2.5 ~ 8,600
0.9/5 × 108000/5 ~ 3,900
1.4/5 × 108000/7.5 ~ 4,000
1/5 × 108000/12 ~ 1,800
0.7/5 × 108000/25 ~ 500

Max total ~ 18,800

1/5 × 108000/2.5 ~ 8,600
0.8/5 × 108000/5 ~ 3,400
1.5/5 × 108000/7.5 ~ 4,300
1/5 × 108000/12 ~ 1,800
0.7/5 × 108000/25 ~ 500

Min total ~ 18,500

Rev. 2 (Block 7 density map, Rev. 2)
3 × 4.5 – [(4 × 1.2)/2] – [(0.5 × 0.3)/2] = 13.5 – 2.4 – 0.35 ~ 10.8 × 100² ~ 108,000 sqft

1/2 × 108000/5 ~ 10,800
1/3 × 108000/7.5 ~ 4,800
1/12 × 108000/12 ~ 750
1/12 × 108000/25 ~ 350

Max total ~ 16,700

2/5 × 108000/5 ~ 8,600
1.5/5 × 108000/7.5 ~ 4,300
0.75/5 × 108000/12 ~ 1,400
0.75/5 × 108000/25 ~ 650

Min total ~ 15,000

Rev. 1
3 × 4.5 – [(4 × 1.2)/2] – [(0.5 × 0.3)/2] = 13.5 – 2.4 – 0.35 ~ 10.8 × 100² ~ 108,000 sqft

3/5 × 108000/5 ~ 13,000
1/5 × 108000/12 ~ 1,800
1/5 × 108000/25 ~ 900

Max total ~ 15,700

1/2 × 108000/5 ~ 10,800
1/5 x 108000/12 ~ 1,800
3/10 × 108000/25 ~ 1,300

Min total ~ 14,000

Original
4.5 × 4.5 – (4.1 × 1.7)/2 – (4 × 1.5)/2 – (1 × 0.8)/2 = 18 – 3.5 – 2 – 0.4 = 12.1 × 100² ~ 121,000 sqft

3/4 × 121000/5 ~ 18,500
1/8 × 121000/7.5 ~ 2,000
1/8 × 121000/12 ~ 1,300

Max total ~ 22,000

3/5 × 121000/5 ~ 14,500
3/10 × 121000/12 ~ 3,000
1/10 × 121000/25 ~ 500

Min total ~ 18,000

» » All the way to back of the western lawn close to East Capitol Circle — given the relative position of the crowd to the Capitol Hill building, folks on the foreground are situated near the outer passageway (September 12, 2009 at 12.27pm EDT)

» Taken from a vicinity closer to the Capitol Hill building from the west lawn facing the Constitution Ave. (September 12, 2009 at 2.26pm PDT)

» » Another photo of the western lawn facing the Constitution Ave. but this time taken from an area closer to the passageway divider between this block and the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 1.41pm PDT)

» » » » The western lawn near the East Capitol Circle facing the dome (September 12, 2009 at 2.15pm EDT)

» » Crowd on the west lawn, near the East Capitol Circle — notice the position of the spot where the picture was taken to the western chamber of the Capitol Hill building; a perpendicular line to the building would go through the middle of the building which incidentally, it is also a middle proximity of the western lawn therefore the extension of crowd you view all the way to the left is expected (September 12, 2009 at 2.14pm EDT)

» » Facing the Independence Ave. from the Western lawn close to the East Capitol Circle — hard to project the boundaries but the crowd density is decent (September 12, 2009 at 12.15pm PDT)

» » » » Taken from the fountain area in the belly of the Capitol steps facing the western lawn — notice that the crowd is not extended all the way to the “South” Capitol Circle (September 12, 2009 at 3.33am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» Taken close to the East Capitol Circle and Pennsylvania Ave. parking space — this picture was not used for density projection as it seems the crowd is on the move to situate itself on the western lawn (September 12, 2009 at 1.49pm EDT)

» » » Another wide angle, albeit far, picture of the west lawn — facing the 1st St. (September 11, 2009 at 9.09pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » » A video shows the west lawn at 0:46 close to the Capitol steps — empty area from the crowd to the Capitol building

» Crowd on the edge of the East Capitol Circle close to Peace Circle and 1st St. — after some contemplation, it was brought to my attention that the photo was taken while the crowd was being ushered to the various enclaves, in this particular case, to the west lawn so it’s not much of a still that I would like to utilize to assess certain parameters. Remember, we are looking for images that show stationary crowd, not mobile (September 12, 2009 at 2.46pm PDT)

» A video of the western lawn at 3:25 — the video resolution is too fuzzy to be used for projection

» » A video taken on the Capitol steps looking at the west lawn (0:22) — boundaries as expect, start of the program, height of the rally

» » Just like walking in the park. A man with the largest cojones strolls around on the west lawn with the largest “Public Option Now” banner he could hardly hold while being escorted by the crowd and eventually a dozen cops — at 0:35, you could somehow determine his position relative to the Capitol Hill west wing which is inside the “outer” passage way. If so, then the density of this segment of block (7) is more dispersed than I had assumed. However, I cannot determine at what point this video was captured

» A great view of the western lawn closer to the outer passage route at 3:12 — density is dispersed at the outer edge.
» » 3:37 delimits the western boundaries

» » » An up close photo of the front rows of attendees on the west lawn slightly near the podium — the density is high (September 13, 2009 at 5.57pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» » Crowd on the west lawn facing the podium and the front lawn (September 12, 2009 at 2.46pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Another up close photo of the first rows rows of attendees on the west lawn (September 13, 2009 at 5.57pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» In the trenches on the west lawn — not the most dense segment of front rows, time might be a factor (September 12, 2009 at 2.02pm PDT)

» Close to the fences on the west lawn facing to the front lawn — notice the gap among the crowd (September 12, 2009 at 12.16pm PDT)

(8) Peace Circle and Constitution Ave.

Block 8 Density

The reason the Peace Circle and East Capitol Circle are half way highlighted on the map is that at the height of rally, it had been barricaded by the police in order to provide emergency exit route, therefore it was only partially populated. The remaining area extends all the way to Constitution Ave. but I found little evidence to its crowdedness at the back. A black strip along side of the block portrays a row of portable potties installed in that location.

Rev. 4

0.5/20 × 153000/5 ~ 750
5/20 × 153000/7.5 ~ 5,100
2/20 × 153000/12 ~ 1,300
3/20 × 153000/25 ~ 900
5/20 × 153000/40 ~ 950
4.5/20 × 153000/60 ~ 600

Max total ~ 9,600
Min total ~ 9,600

Rev. 3 (Block 8 density map, Rev. 3)

1.1/20 × 153000/2.5 ~ 3,400
1/5 × 153000/7.5 ~ 4,100
1/20 × 153000/12 ~ 600
1/5 × 153000/25 ~ 1,000
1/4 × 153000/40 ~ 1,000
4.9/20 × 153000/60 ~ 600

Max total ~ 10,700
Min total ~ 10,700

Rev. 2 (Block 8 density map, Rev. 2)
2 × 2.5 + 4 × 3.3 + 3.5 × 0.25 – (2.5 × 2)/2 – (1 × 2.5)/2 = 5 + 13.2 + 0.88 – 2.5 – 1.25 = 15.3 × 100² ~ 153,000 sqft

1/7 × 153000/5 ~ 4,400
2.5/7 × 153000/7.5 ~ 7,300
0.5/21 × 153000/12 ~ 300
2/21 × 153000/25 ~ 1,000
4/21 × 153000/40 ~ 700
4/21 × 153000/60 ~ 500

Max total ~ 14,200

1/7 × 153000/5 ~ 4,400
2/7 × 153000/7.5 ~ 5,900
1/21 × 153000/12 ~ 600
1/7 × 153000/25 ~ 900
5/21 × 153000/40 ~ 900
3/21 × 153000/60 ~ 400

Min total ~ 13,100

Rev. 1
2 × 2.5 + 4 × 3.3 – (2.5 × 2)/2 – (1 × 2.5)/2 = 5 + 13.2 – 2.5 – 1.25 = 14.45 × 100² ~ 145,000 sqft

2/5 × 145000/5 ~ 11,600
1/5 × 145000/25 ~ 1,200
2/5 × 145000/40 ~ 1,500

Max total ~ 14,300

3/10 × 145000/5 ~ 8,700
1/10 × 145000/12 ~ 1,200
3/10 × 145000/25 ~ 1,800
3/10 × 145000/40 ~ 1,100

Min total ~ 12,800

Original
2 × 2.5 + 4 × 3.3 – (2.5 × 2)/2 – (1 × 2.5)/2 = 5 + 13.2 – 2.5 – 1.25 = 14.45 × 100² ~ 145,000 sqft

2/3 × 145000/5 ~ 20,000
1/6 × 145000/7.5 ~ 3,300
1/6 × 145000/12 ~ 2,000

Max total ~ 26,000

1/2 × 145000/5 ~ 14,500
1/4 × 145000/12 ~ 3,000
1/4 × 145000/25 ~ 1,450

Min total ~ 19,000

» A view facing the Capitol Hill from the Peace Circle — low angle (September 12, 2009 at 2.01pm EDT)

» » Crowd around the Peace Circle — notice that the East Capitol Circle and 1st St NW are left open by the police, not sure if the parking lot on Pennsylvania Ave NW is populated. The juncture area behind the barricades on the foreground (not across the street) was at some point populated (September 12, 2009 at 2.12pm EDT)

» A view at the cross section of East Capitol Circle and Peace Circle block (September 12, 2009 at 1.38pm EDT)

» Facing the western building of Capitol Hill taken from the Peace Circle — crowd density is high (September 12, 2009 at 1.38pm EDT)

» » » A line stretched from the circumference of Peace Circle facing the 1st St. — it appears that the area is highly congestive due to mobility of the crowd to move in and out of the rally

» Facing the 3rd St. and Pennsylvania Ave. in the area between the west and front lawn — people who decided to stand on neither of the lawns (September 12, 2009 at 10.58am PDT)

» Crowd behind the barricades on the Peace Circle and Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot (September 12, 2009 at 1.00pm PDT)

» » The first few minutes of this video captures the crowd density in this area as the rally was dwindling down. The story goes that somehow this guy begins accusing a couple of African-American kids who were selling “Don’t Thread On Me” accoutrement as ACORN operatives making “profit” (how un-Capitalist of them) among the crowd! Then he pursues to loudly “expose” them while calling the kid a “boy” (most certainly a poor choice of word but I don’t suppose he was born in the post-racial Utopian era either). He is basically acting all thuggish while dragging his Asian wife when apparently no one is taking a heed to the situation until a few cops quietly escort the family as they walked away from the rally. He is literally out of breath once he drives the musketeers away

» At 1:15 – Peace Circle and Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot — the video is too short to make a conclusive decision regarding the density of the crowd

» Walking around the Peace Circle — much more laxed and not entirely jammed at this juncture

» » Taken around 1:15 PM, at 3:12 of clip, you can see people gathering in Peace Circle behind the barricades — note that there aren’t as many density packed people as I had initially assumed. However, at 4:27, you can see that a more people congregated at the back rows but then again, Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot was used as an entry and exit point to the rally. Nevertheless, the crowd size and density on the lot is noticeable but can’t tell how far back it goes

» » » A closeup photo of Peace Circle with people behind the barricades – notice the portable potties on the edge of the green space between the 1st St. and Constitution Ave.. The front rows are not as densely as one would hope and if you look closely at the areas in the back, you’ll notice that there is much crowd disparity but from the timestamps, I would conjecture that the rally hadn’t been culminated at the Capitol Hill; either that or the timestamps is inaccurate (September 12, 2009 at 11.26am EDT)

» » A guy with a “Public Option Now” banner crosses the street on “northern” East Capitol Circle at 3:19 while he’s being escorted by hundreds of attendees an eventually a dozen cops — at 3:56 he reached the 1st St.. 4:39, block (8) comes into the view and if you can freeze the video at various points, you’ll notice that it is empty beyond the pathway going from the Circle to Constitution Ave. and behind a row of portable potties. The guy is being encountered by 100′s of Tea Party members.

» » A continuation of the event described above where the “Public Option” fella standing on the edge of the block (8) facing the 1st St. — at 0:55 you could almost take a pick at the area. Not much crowd, as a matter of fact empty. Also note that the majority of crowd on the 1st St. was drawn by his parade and were actually situated there

» » I cannot figure out where this one is taken, near the Peace Circle? (September 11, 2009 at 10.10pm CDT [wrong timestamps])

(9) Pennsylvania Ave. Parking Lot

Block 9 Density

A parking lot that sits on Pennsylvania Ave and is located to the west of the Reflecting Pool. Rows of portable potties were situated on the side of the parking lot along side of vehicles. The majority of projection of this block was surmised from other areas and also the fact that it was used as sort of a gateway for the attendees to go in and out of the rally.

Rev. 2
5/6 × 4.85 = 4 × 100² ~ 40,000 sqft

3/5 × 40000/7.5 ~ 3,200
1.5/5 × 40000/12 ~ 1,000
1/10 × 40000/35 ~ 100

Max total ~ 4,300

3/5 × 40000/7.5 ~ 3,200
1/5 × 40000/12 ~ 700
1/5 × 40000/35 ~ 200

Min total ~ 4,100

Rev. 1
5/6 × 4.85 = 4 × 100² ~ 40,000 sqft

2/5 × 40000/5 ~ 3,200
1/5 × 40000/7.5 ~ 1,100
1/10 × 40000/12 ~ 350
1/10 × 40000/25 ~ 160

Max total ~ 4,800

1/5 × 40000/5 ~ 1,600
2/5 × 40000/12 ~ 1,400
2/5 × 40000/25 ~ 650

Min total ~ 3,700

Original
3.85 × 5/6 = 3.2 × 100² ~ 32,000 sqft

Max total 32000/7.5 ~ 4,300

1/2 × 32000/7.5 ~ 2,100
1/4 × 32000/12 ~ 660
1/4 × 32000/25 ~ 320

Min total ~ 3,100

» » Crowd at the west side of the Reflecting Pool behind the Peace Circle statue — not the best still of the area but notice the portable potties on the parking space (September 12, 2009 at 1.30pm EDT)

» Walking along the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot towards the 3rd St. and Constitution Ave. after 2:35

» Taken somewhere after portable potties on the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot facing the Reflecting Pool — high congestive area (September 11, 2009 at 10.21pm CDT [wrong timestamps])

» 8:12 – on the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot walking toward the western edge of the Reflecting Pool – note that almost everyone is using this area for moving in and out of the rally

(10) Reflecting Pool Margin

This is an area designated to the edge of the Capitol Reflecting Pool where usually either one person is sitting or/and having two or more people sitting across the attendee. A distance between this line and the perimeter of the pool was used by the crowd to move around therefore it was left out of the equation due to the fact no dynamic flow of crowd was used in any of the calculations — the golden rule, remember? Nonetheless, at the end, I added 15,000 (initially 5,000, then 10,000) to the final tally to make up for this mobile segment of demonstrators. The entire section has been ticked by the “unknown density” color because the density does not need to be applied.

19 × 0.04 × 100² ~ 7,500 sqft

Max total 7500/4 ~ 2,000
Min total 7500/6 ~ 1,250

» Facing the Constitution Ave., Capitol Reflecting Pool and Grant Memorial (September 12, 2009 at 11.48am EDT)

» Facing the Constitution Ave. and Capitol Reflecting Pool (September 12, 2009 at 11.48am EDT)

» Facing the Capitol, south of the Capitol Reflecting Pool (September 12, 2009 at 11.49am EDT)

» South side of the Reflecting Pool to the east facing the Capitol Hill (September 12, 2009 at 2.57pm PDT)

» South side of the Reflecting Pool facing toward the Constitution Ave. (September 12, 2009 at 2.57pm PDT)

» Front of the Reflecting Pool — either early arrivals while the remaining are still marching on the Pennsylvania Ave. or the timestamps is inaccurate (lunch time) (September 12, 2009 at 10.00am CDT)

» Facing the Maryland Ave. and Independence Ave on the western edge of the Reflecting Pool (September 12, 2009 at 1.33pm EDT)

» Front of the Reflecting Pool facing toward Constitution Ave. (September 12, 2009 at 1.32pm EDT)

» Facing the Independence Ave. taken from the western edge of the Reflecting Pool (September 12, 2009 at 1.47pm EDT)

» View of the south end of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument

» Crowd at the west side of the Reflecting Pool behind the Peace Circle statue — notice the portable potties on the parking lot (September 12, 2009 at 1.30pm EDT)

» A packed line behind the Reflecting Pool from eastern and western corner of the pool, respectively (September 15, 2009 at 9.21am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» A video taken from the southern edge of the Reflecting Pool at 0:26

» A video taken from the Western edge of the Reflecting Pool close to the East Capitol Circle – a steady line of people sitting by the pool

» Shot from the lower corner of the Reflecting Pool close to the East Capitol Circle (September 12, 2009 at 11.28am EDT)

(11) Reflecting Pool Perimeter

Block 11 Density

This is a block that encompasses areas surrounding the pool but not the edges.

Rev. 2
9 × 5/6 + 2 × (3 × 1/6) = 6.7 + 1 = 7.7 × 100² ~ 77,000 sqft

9/10 × 77000/7.5 ~ 9,200
1/10 × 77000/12 ~ 600

Max total ~ 9,800

8.5/10 × 77000/7.5 ~ 8,700
1.5/10 × 77000/12 ~ 950

Min total ~ 9,600

0.7 × 8 + 3 × 0.17 + 4 × 0.12 = 5.6 + 0.5 + 0.5 = 7 × 100² ~ 70,000 sqft

Rev. 1
7/10 × 70000/5 ~ 9,800
2/10 × 70000/7.5 ~ 1,900
1/10 × 70000/25 ~ 300

Max total ~ 12,000

3/5 × 70000/5 ~ 8,400
1/5 × 70000/12 ~ 1,200
1/5 × 70000/25 ~ 600

Min total ~ 10,200

Original
3/5 × 70000/5 ~ 8,400
1/10 × 70000/7.5 ~ 950
1/10 × 70000/25 ~ 300

Max total ~ 10,000

2/5 × 70000/5 ~ 5,600
2/5 × 70000/12 ~ 2,300
1/5 × 70000/25 ~ 560

Min total ~ 8,500

» Around the Reflecting Pool facing the Constitution Ave. (September 12, 2009 at 1.25pm EDT)

» On the edge of the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot facing the Constitution Ave. and Louisiana Ave. — obviously since the spot is at the cross section of heavily congested area, it’s expected to be more dense (September 12, 2009 at 1.34pm EDT)

» West side of the Reflecting Pool facing the dome (September 12, 2009 at 1.32pm EDT)

» » Crowd behind the Reflecting Pool facing the Constitution Ave. — excellent shot at the height of relative density (September 12, 2009 at 1.27pm EDT)

» View of the south end of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument

» A relatively mixed line behind the Reflecting Pool and more (September 15, 2009 at 9.21am PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Maryland parking space and east edge of the Reflecting Pool (August 12, 2009 at 12.45pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Facing the Constitution Ave., Reflecting Pool and Grant Memorial — even though the perimeter was not entirely captured with this image (September 12, 2009 at 11.48am EDT)

» » A captured video of the Reflecting Pool perimeter at 4:49 — not as crowded as earlier on.
» 6:16, the eastern perimeter of the pool, again not much crowded.
» 6:30 – lower eastern edge of the Reflecting Pool, facing to Grant Memorial, practically empty. This must have been at the end of the rally

» A video taken from the southern edge of the Reflecting Pool perimeter at 0:36 — note that the majority of people in this area had moved out

» A clip taken on the edge of the Reflecting Pool perimeter at 2:59 — decent crowd density however at 3:37 you notice that the 3rd St. lawn is barely populated

» A wide view of the Reflecting Pool perimeter at 2:14 taken from the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot

» » A capture from the back of the Reflecting Pool and partially off of 3rd St. block at 3:01. At this juncture, the crowdedness at the perimeter is noticeable

» » Facing the back of the Reflecting Pool at the eastern corner of the pool — towards the end of the rally (September 12, 2009 at 2.25pm EDT – corrected by one hour, 3.25 pm EDT)

» » Back rows of the people on the Reflecting Pool perimeter facing the Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot — close net of seated and standing crowd (September 12, 2009 at 9.47am CDT [wrong timestamps])

» Another shot from the back rows of the people on the Reflecting Pool perimeter facing the doom (September 12, 2009 at 11.58am EDT [wrong timestamps])

» A shot taken from the eastern corner of the 3rd St. — notice the crowd congregation on this particular pocket but I am assuming the timestamps must be off by a few hours (September 12, 2009 at 11.57am EDT)

» » Crowd on the Reflecting Pool perimeter facing the Constitution Ave. — the timestamps indicates that it was shot at noon when the rally was about to begin and the most crowded time frame. If that’s true, my highlight map accurately color coded for the amount of populated area that is being shown in this still (September 12, 2009 at 11.58am EDT)

» Facing the US Botanic Garden, this picture was taken at the western area of 3rd St. block and Reflecting Pool perimeter (September 12, 2009 at 11.57am EDT)

» A view from the eastern edge of the Reflecting Pool adjacent to Maryland Ave. parking lot (September 12, 2009 at 11.40am CDT)

(12) 3rd St.

Block 12 Density

A distance between the perimeter of Reflecting Pool and the 3rd St. which is by itself a large area although, according to several photos, was not used extensively by the crowd (only sporadic groups with folding chairs setup shop there). Notice that the low number on this block is due to the fact the majority of people at the height of the rally were situated closer to the Capitol so they can observe the podium — visibility of the podium at this elevation is almost non-existence. Later on in the day, some attendees shifted to this block.

Many people assume that just because later in a day, a group of attendees migrated to the back areas such as the one between the Reflecting Pool and 3rd St., it constitutes a “new” increase in density in such vicinities — this is a faulty assumption. Remember, the count was set when the density of all the blocks had to be at the highest and at that very time frame, areas on the back were much lighter in attaining participants (most people were huddled at the front)

Rev. 2
(10.1 + “8″) × 1.5/2= 13.6 × 100² ~ 136,000 sqft

1/6 × 136000/12 ~ 1,900
1/3 × 136000/40 ~ 1,200
1/2 × 136000/60 ~ 1,100

Max total ~ 4,200

1/7 × 136000/12 ~ 1,600
2.5/7 × 136000/40 ~ 1,200
3.5/7 × 136000/60 ~ 1,100

Min total ~ 3,900

(10 + 8.5) × 1.8/2= 16.6 × 100² ~ 166,000 sqft

Rev. 1
1/10 × 166000/5 ~ 3,300
8/10 × 166000/40 ~ 3,300
1/10 × 166000/60 ~ 300

Max total ~ 6,900

1/10 × 166000/12 ~ 1,400
7/10 × 166000/40 ~ 3,000
1/5 × 166000/60 ~ 550

Min total ~ 5,000

Original
Max total 166000/40 ~ 4,200
Min total 166000/60 ~ 2,800

» Taken from the area between the back of the Reflecting Pool and 3rd St. — due to an erratic timestamp, it is hard to say whether this was a start of the rally or after lunch period when returning people situating themselves on the 3rd St. block (September 12, 2009 at 11.38am EDT)

» » Between the Reflecting Pool and 3rd St. (September 12, 2009 at 3.00pm PDT)

» A whole lot of people sitting close to 3rd St. — crowd that were coming back from the departure. Not an appropriate photo to determine the density (September 12, 2009 at 1.27pm EDT)

» » Crowd close to 3rd St facing the Maryland Ave and Independence Ave. — taken near the end of the rally (September 12, 2009 at 1.26pm EDT [wrong timestamp])

» On the eastern edge of the 3rd St. — a lot of people streamlining in and out of the rally hence the reason for its crowdedness (August 12, 2009 at 2.04pm PDT [wrong timestamps])

» Back of the Reflecting Pool all the way to the 3rd St. — this might be a time where the “march” was being culminated to the Capitol Hill area (September 12, 2009 at 10.11am EDT)

» » A video at 2:27 capturing the vicinity — the time of capture is unknown

» A video at 1:44, 1:52, 2:29 shows a dispersed crowd but justifiable for several thousands

» Walking across the 3rd St. onto the block at 1:22 (right smack through the middle of the enclave)
» 2:22 shows a more concentrated crowd that I have seen in photos but perhaps on a congested crossing zone, this was to be expected. Note that as the rally was wrapping up, many people began dispersing to the back areas, hence the reason for this particular crowdedness. Obviously, the majority of these people were situated on different blocks when the speakers delivered their notes.
» 3:32/3:55 show a more dispersed crowd as we have seen in various photos.
» 4:21 – a more inclined toward the western side of the 3rd St. area

» » A video taken from the 3rd St. all the way walking to the back of the Reflecting Pool area — it was recorded after the clip shared above and as you can see, the crowd density has increased dramatically. These are the attendees who had gone to luncheon and rather going back on the front lawns, they decided to congregate in a more space-friendly areas, i.e. 3rd St.. This is a clear case of rearrangement

» A short-lived moment taken from 3rd St. at 3:11 facing the National Mall — the density on the perimeter is moderately high but a few rows on the 3rd St. field also “appears” to contain a bit more densely packed crowd. However, if you watch the remaining of the clip, you’ll notice that half of the east and west lawns are half empty which signals the end of the rally therefore I will not consider the density captured on this video in the final estimation

» » A view of the middle of the 3rd St. block — this probably was near the end of the rally where people congregated at the back areas as they came back from lunch (September 12, 2009 at 11.57am EDT)

(13) 3rd St. and Constitution Ave.

Block 13 Density

A block similar to 3rd St. where there weren’t many concentrated crowd convening.

(1 + 2.5) × 4.5/2 = 7.8 × 100² ~ 78,000 sqft

Rev. 2

1/3 × 78000/40 ~ 650
2/3 × 78000/60 ~ 900

Max total ~ 1,550

1/4 × 78000/40 ~ 500
3/4 × 78000/60 ~ 950

Min total ~ 1,450

Original

Max total 78000/40 ~ 2,000
Min total 78000/60 ~ 1,300

» » Sporadic sit-ins at 4:57 in this particular area

Total space Rev. 3 ~ 1,033,000 sqft
Total space Rev. 2 ~ 1,030,000 sqft
Total space Rev. 1 ~ 1,010,000 sqft

Rev. 4
Max total crowd ~ 117,300 but after correction, 118,300
Min total crowd ~ 113,800

Rev. 3
Max total crowd ~ 127,500 but after correction, 121,000
Min total crowd ~ 122,000 but after correction, 115,700

Rev. 2
Max total crowd ~ 108,000
Min total crowd ~ 101,000

Rev. 1
Max total crowd ~ 126,000 but after correction, 121,000
Min total crowd ~ 110,000 but after correction, 105,000

Original
Max total crowd ~ 155,000 but after correction, 152,000
Min total crowd ~ 130,000 but after correction, 127,000

However, assuming roughly 10%-15% or 15,000/10,000 max/min (revised from 5,000 for the “Original” estimation, 10,000 for “Rev. 1″ estimate, 15,000 in “Rev. 2″ for both min/max) of people were streamlining in and out of the rally at a given time (either for food, other necessities, or just scattered around in the areas that were not deemed populated in the highlighted map), the final tally would rise up to:

Rev. 4
Max total crowd ~ 132,000 but after correction, 133,000
Min total crowd ~ 124,000

Rev. 3
Max total crowd ~ 142,500 but after correction, 136,000
Min total crowd ~ 132,000 but after correction, 126,000

Rev. 2
Max total crowd ~ 123,000
Min total crowd ~ 116,000

Rev. 1
Max total crowd ~ 136,000 but after correction, 133,000
Min total crowd ~ 120,000 but after correction, 117,000

Original
Max total crowd ~ 160,000 but after correction, 157,000
Min total crowd ~ 135,000 but after correction, 132,000

There you have it. Prior to all this, my initial anecdotal estimate was somewhere between 90,000 and 110,000, and concurrently, the original evaluated figures came 50% on top. However, after the first revision, the numbers did indeed take a 15% ebb and continued its descend in Rev. 2 until higher density variables were added to the equation [in Rev. 3]. Of course this is assuming my calculation and certain inferences and conjecture of various parameters are accurate.

The Myth of the 2 Million Attendees

Recently, it has brought to my attention that certain pro-Tea Party crowd are adamantly promulgating an erroneous figures that either dubiously attained or flagrantly concocted. Let me be blatantly clear about this: the veracity of such claim not only defies rationality of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ears but only confers to its impossibility. Geographically speaking, the entire area encompassing a line drawn parallel to the facade of the Capitol Hill, connecting Constitution Ave. to Independence Ave., enshrouding the area all the way to the 3rd St., would register somewhere around (13 × 14 × 100² ~) 1,820,000 sqft. Even if you manage to cram every single person on top of each other (3.5 sqft/person, an extreme condition only seen on first few crushing rows of a sardined concert), the total crowd would boil down to 520,000. This simple calculation immediately shatters a false presumption that there were millions of attendees or even 800,000 as it has been reported by the official organizers — not only such assertion is patently false and egregious in its nature, but rather entirely unrealistic and improbable.

Moreover, a particularly absurd calculation that I just discussed in the previous paragraph does not exclude areas such as the Reflecting Pool (180,000 sqft), 1st St.-Independence Ave. (130,000 sqft), the US Botanic Garden enclave between 1st St. and 3rd St. (260,000 sqft), tail end of Pennsylvania Ave. and Maryland Ave. parking lots (40,000-50,000 sqft), East Capitol Circle and Constitution Ave, including the 1st Ave and vicinity (90,000 sqft), and other limited pathways such as the ones passing through the Peace and Garfield Circles all the way to the Capitol steps (10,000 sqft) which ultimately brings the total “occupied” (not to be confused with “occupiable”) area to 1,100,000 sqft (1,820,000 – 720,000) — a comparable figure to the total space I come up with. Second, another faulty assumption in our 520,000 figure is that all the remaining populated areas have the same density which is a misleading premise to begin with; all to the contrary, the evidence (photos and videos) attests to that fact. Even if you forgo this rationality and assume the density of 3.5 sqft for the “entire” populated blocks (1,100,000 sqft), that would leave us with around 315,000 attendees which is no where around 7-figure being so shamelessly touted in the echo chambers of gullibility.

It has become apparent that such mis-perception stems from either lack of intellectual rectitude, political zeal (read: cultist mentality), or a clarion of acumen to do a rudimentary research before jumping on a bandwagon fallacy. Disproving an absurdity of this magnitude should not require a considerable effort if one wishes to apply himself accordingly. Examining in contrast of the recent events (i.e. “We Are One” Inauguration Concert with ~500,000 attendees in yellow or Obama’s Presidential Inauguration ~1,000,000 +/- in blue on the highlighted map below), the area occupied by 9/12 Tea Party rally (colored in red with overlapping areas of Obama’s inauguration in purple) in comparison with presidential inauguration should not by any cogent measurement allow anyone to come up with a “2 million” conclusion. I am not going to indulge certain people’s reasoning process by delving into psychological inclination of those who claim otherwise because I would like to keep the focus on examination of facts and facts only, so we leave it there.

Below you can find the colored map for the discussed paragraph (click for the [1st revision] larger resolution 2074 × 545, 760 KB below — I’m totally aware that the map is not entirely accurate and created just to provide an overall contrast between the different events. After the 2nd revision, I readjusted the image to reflect a more accurate coverage of the area. You can find the original highlighted map and 1st revision here).

9.12 Tea Party Crowd Estimation

Let us make a scene-by-scene comparison of both presidential inauguration and 9/12 Tea Party protest. Note that some of the images have enhanced (i.e. brightness, contrast, etc.) or/and cropped (for resolution compatibility). The first side-by-side pictures are roughly taken on the terrace level of Capitol Hill. As you can see, at the 9/12 Tea Party rally, the National Mall was entirely empty (up to 3rd St.) or had been reserved for other events (i.e. Black Family Reunion). Yet on the presidential inauguration day, the entire Mall was covered with the participants from the Grant Memorial statues to the back of the Reflecting Pool (another one take from the top of the Washington Monument), all the way to the Washington Monument itself. You can view the podium and the Capitol steps along with the picture of ticket area on the front lawn here. If you wish to see a panoramic view of the inauguration podium where you can zoom in on everyone’s face click here (make sure to zoom all the way to the right where the “Grant Memorial” and crowd on the National Mall are visible) [3].

Now, take a look at a side-by-side contrast between the National Mall field from both events; the one taken on the presidential inauguration day (the one on the top, somewhere after 12th St., Smithsonian tower is visible on the right hand side) which clearly illustrates the sheer number of attendees with the Tea Party’s (somewhere after 7th St. if you wish to verify note that the timestamps was corrected by an hour to 3:03pm EDT) undisputedly portrays an uninhibited field (for another perspective, you can view a picture taken closer to the Capitol Hill around south of the IMAX Theater on the National Mall and even closer and closer). This should leave no doubt that there was in no way the 9/12 event had an equivalent amount of crowd participating in the protest when the presidential inauguration had merely an estimation of around 1 million. Contrarians are delusional if they think otherwise; again, this is not about one’s political affiliation but rather an honest examination of fact vs. fiction [3].

NOTE: I am certainly cognizant of a fact that the maps and the numbers are not entirely flawless and do contain errors, along perhaps some of the calculations or conjectures of assumed parameters. Yes, there are probably tons of grammatical and spelling errors peppered all over the post but I hope you’ll find it in your kind hearts to extend me your clemency. If you also know of a photo set or a video clip that offers a better view from an area that I have missed, please do share it with us. At the end, I would like to invite everyone to do note such omissions and oversights in a civil manner backed with reference and verifiable fact. If such disparity or shortcoming was found, I will surely include them in the “update” sections throughout the post. If somebody can provide me the following research paper titled, “Estimation of Crowd Density Based on Wavelet and Support Vector Machine“, it would be greatly appreciated.

Update (1)

Block 1: An area closer to the Capitol building was slightly trimmed to reflect the exact boundaries for this region. Area, max, and min were recalculated — all decreased
Block 2: After reviewing several more photos and clips, max and min were recalculated — both decreased by ~40%
Block 3: The area was readjusted and max/min reevaluated — all decreased
Block 6: The area was redrawn to adequately touches certain corners; area, max, and min were recalculated — all slightly increased
Block 7: The west lawn was redrawn on the map, area, max, and min were reevaluated — all decreased
Block 8: The crowd density for this block came under question after reviewing multiple clips — all decreased
Block 9: The area was increased by 2/5 as it was being used as a gateway to the rally for the duration of the protest; the area, max, and min were recalculated — all increased
Block 11: It was brought to my attention that the back of the Reflecting Pool was more crowded that it had been assessed; max and min were reevaluated — both increased
Block 12: Same fate as block 11 except that max and min were slightly bumped — both slightly increased

Update (2)

A color coded density map along with resource assignment to one or more density were introduced for better understanding of how each block’s crowd estimate was calculated. Each area was designated appropriate boundaries for various densities extrapolated from multiple resources (i.e. images and videos). All the resources were re-examined and duplicates, omissions, and wrongly attributed items were deleted or reassigned to an appropriate block. The changes as follow:

Block 1: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — both decreased
Block 2: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max, min, and the area were readjusted and recalculated — all increased
Block 3: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — both decreased
Block 4: Boundaries were adjusted and the only the area was recalculated — it increased
Block 5: Boundaries were readjusted, color coded density map and resources were assigned. Max, min, and area were recalculated — area was expanded but Max/Min decreased
Block 6: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — both decreased
Block 7: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — both increased
Block 8: Boundaries were redrawn, color coded density map and resources were added. Max, min, and area were recalculated — area was expanded, Max slightly decreased but Min increased
Block 9: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — Max decreased but Min increased
Block 11: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max, min and area were recalculated — area was expanded, Max and Min both decreased
Block 12: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max, min and area were recalculated — all decreased
Block 13: Color coded density map and resources were added. Max and min were recalculated — Max decreased but Min increased

Update (3)

A new density parameter was added to the list, 2.5 sqft/person which is justifiable when one considers the crowdedness of certain enclaves. I even go as far as calling an exclusion of such density a major mistake in my initial work which is a wrong I’d be gladly make right. In the process, all the necessary images and videos were “ticked” with the designated Olive Darb color and the any density map, including the overall plot, that required change in density waves was adjusted accordingly (you still can view the old block-specific density maps in Rev. 2 sections of each block). A Photoshop version of density map (~10 MB) was offered but remember, once it’s downloaded, the extension (file format) must be changed to “.psd” as I was only able to upload in “.ppt” format.

Block 1: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max and min were recalculated — both increased
Block 2: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max and min were recalculated — both increased
Block 5: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max, min, and area were recalculated — all increased (max/min by 50%)
Block 6: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max and min were recalculated — both increased
Block 7: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max and min were recalculated — both increased
Block 8: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft enclosure was added. Max and min recalculated — both decreased (max/min by 40%)

Update (4)

Blocks (2), (6), and (8) density maps were redrawn and the figures were recalculated to reflect the readjustments.

Block 2: Color coded density map was altered. Max and min were recalculated — both decreased
Block 6: Color coded density map was altered. Max and min were recalculated — max decreased but min increased
Block 8: Color coded density map was altered and 2.5 sqft was completely removed. Max and min recalculated — both decreased

[1] Appended on September 23, 2009
[2] Appended on September 27, 2009
[3] Appended on September 28, 2009
[4] Appended on October 2, 2009
[5] Appended on October 18, 2009

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97 Comments

  1. cluebattingcage said,

    “optical depth illusion”

    Perhaps “optical density illusion” would better describe the concept.

    Well, you’ve certainly put a ton of thought and effort into it, and frankly, it would take me a good 40 hour week to even attempt to verify the various parameters — most of which would probably be in estimating density by looking at ground-level still-shots and trying to extrapolate — a difficult task at best with methods that could, in the end, never be rigorously defended without some sort of overhead verification.

    Accordingly, I have no less reason to believe your analysis than the others, and I put yours in my list of analyses for comparison.

    The only thing I had to add to the discussion was this:

    I’d have to believe that the crowd from the 912 march around the speaking area was 83% to 86.5% (depending on which inauguration estimate you believe) less dense than the inauguration crowd. I will allow that it was significantly less dense, but not THAT much less dense, and there’s the complete lack of people around the reflection pool at the inauguration to add to that.

    We do not have the benefit of satellite photos so we can’t see how many are on the rest of the mall or elsewhere. Another thing to consider is that this wasn’t an event for which everyone needed to assemble at a particular time or they’d “miss it” — at no one time could you ever take a snapshot and say, “yup, that’s the sum total of all the people who came”. I submit that this was a much more dynamic crowd with a significant amount of flux throughout the day in any given area. There was no single event to see or miss. The point was merely to “show up” that day.

    • deathbymedia said,

      optical density illusion

      Ooh! We have a trend setter here. I don’t mind borrowing that terminology. :)

      “[...] methods that could, in the end, never be rigorously defended without some sort of overhead verification.

      Precisely my sentiments; as a matter of fact I added an update yesterday, elaborating further on this very issue you brought up. Bottom line is that there is no definitive and quantifiable scheme to pin point a correct figure unless you have enough resources to implement a hypothesized mathematical research theory.

      I’d have to believe that the crowd from the 912 march around the speaking area was 83% to 86.5% (depending on which inauguration estimate you believe) less dense than the inauguration crowd.

      Define the speaking area. Are we talking about the entire rectangular enclosure between Constitution, Independence Ave. and 3rd St. or simply the east+front+west+Grant Memorial sections? In your next sentence you mentioned “around the reflection [Reflecting] pool” which gave me a pause because if you are including areas as far as back of the Reflecting pool, then obviously, since the density of every section varied dramatically throughout the map, then one cannot uniformly assert for a fixed density.

      What estimation of “speaking area” are we talking about (including the source for such claim)? Frankly, I believe the density of the 9/12 protest on certain parts of the front, east, and west lawns was more compacted albeit not in every enclave. I don’t know what numbers you are utilizing to come up with the ~85% reduction in density of crowd with respect to Inauguration day’s so I can’t evaluate whether such comparison is a healthy one or not.

      I will allow that it was significantly less dense, but not THAT much less dense, and there’s the complete lack of people around the reflection pool at the inauguration to add to that.

      There were people all around the Reflecting Pool on the inauguration day. Here is a space image of the inauguration day focused on the Capitol Hill area. As you can see, the front and the west lawn are pretty much covered and the east lawn is “almost” as densely packed as the one’s captured on the 9/12 rally although the boundaries to the right are not as extended as the one on 9/12 rally’s. Here is another set of photos taken on the Capitol Hill steps which clearly illustrates the density of the crowd on the front lawn and vicinity. Also note that the 9/12 rally was limited to the front lawn and beyond, whereas the inauguration had the luxury of occupying the entire steps and balconies in addition to the built-in podium to house the official and what not. Another issue to note is that the ticket holders had the orderly seated sections assigned to them which by default are designed to minimized the space/person relation. However, I still believe in regions closer to the podium, 9/12 rally was a bit more compacted.

      We do not have the benefit of satellite photos so we can’t see how many are on the rest of the mall or elsewhere.

      I have not seen any photo providing enough evidence to show me if there was indeed any sort of noticeable congregation placed on the National Mall (beyond 3rd St.).

      “[...] at no one time could you ever take a snapshot and say, “yup, that’s the sum total of all the people who came”. I submit that this was a much more dynamic crowd with a significant amount of flux throughout the day in any given area.

      I concur. That’s why I augmented a few paragraphs elaborating on such described limitation.

      The point was merely to “show up” that day.

      Yes, and the point of this entry is to find out who showed up for the final exam. :)

  2. March on DC - Page 11 - Motorcycle Forums said,

    [...] a great blog that does an honest job at reporting and figuring numbers. 9/12 Washington DC Tea Party Rally – Crowd Estimation Death by Media Good video (link on that site) of a crowd view as the festivities started. YouTube – march on [...]

  3. wm25burke said,

    Another analysis, based upon Metro-Rail ridership data:

    “Metro Delivers Hundreds of Thousands to 9/12 Rally”
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2344124/posts

    The question I have, is WHO, exactly, at the D.C.F.D. did ABC news talk to?

    Here’s a snippet from a correspondense that was shared with me “…I spoke with Chief of Washington FD and EMS, Chief Kenneth Crosswhite, telephone number 202-673-3331, and he emphatically stated that: (a) they have not estimated or guestimated crowd numbers for the past 20 years; (b) that it is in complete against their policy; and (c) that he has promised to send an email confirming his and conversation with me….”

    So, who do we believe – the Chief of the D.C.F.D. or ABC news?

    • deathbymedia said,

      Metro-Rail ridership methodology is vastly illusive and unreliable. Beside the fact that on the same day the 9/12 Tea Party protest was being held, there were several other events concurrently setup shop on the National Mall and Polo field, even though comparatively paltry in number of participants, we do not know how many arrived by other means of transportation or did not take metro at all as they had stayed in near by hotels. If that wasn’t enough, the Heritage blogger’s piece is risible as it is flecked with flagrant errors. He merely juxtaposes the two Saturdays before the Labor Day weekend without examining a conspicuous discrepancy between the two days’ unexpected drop in reported numbers.

      The ridership on 9/12/2009 was around 437k vs. 9/6/2008‘s 202k. But examining several other “Saturday” ridership of year 2008 reveals an irregularity — 9/13/2008‘s 360k, 9/20/2008‘s 360k, 8/30/2008‘s 336. It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds of rudimentary exploration to realize that on 9/6/2008, hurricane/tropical storm Hanna had moved in the region, including but not limited to, Washington D.C. which adequately explains the reason behind such sharp drop in ridership. You know, heavy rain, unpleasant weather, and winds up to 60 MPH are great discouragements for people to make a usual trip to the National Mall but what do I know — D.C./VA/MA people are very unpredictable.

      Second, whoever ran those numbers must be either a mathematical handicap or a partisan hack whose disregard for a simple fact brands him a neophyte who is undeserved of any rational response. This is what you get when every Joe is given a loopy scat to write in blogsphere and every other impressionable mind picks up that piece of drollery and tattoos on his forehead as a convictional truism (argh!). Examining every other weekend, Saturday to be more specific, in months of September and late August [of 2009/2008], provides us with a different picture:

      8/15/2009‘s 337k
      8/22/2009‘s 293k
      8/29/2009‘s 304k
      9/5/2009‘s 301k
      9/12/2009‘s 437k
      9/19/2009‘s 332k
      9/26/2009‘s 361k

      Pulling the same report on previous year, 2008, we can establish the medium/mean to somewhere close to 340k which result in mere ~100k “round trip” ridership increase on 9/12 — not excluding riders from other events. Knowing full well a number of charter buses were strained in Alexandria, VA, and an unknown figure of attendees had in D.C. hotel reservation, compounded with uncertainties introduced by other events, the 100k cannot be directly attributed to the Tea Party rally. Even if you attempt to disregard all the hurdle signs, a border line 6-figure number does not give credence to anything more than 150k.

      The question I have, is WHO, exactly, at the D.C.F.D. did ABC news talk to?

      DC Fire Department’s 70k estimate was not “official,” correct, so are the fantasy numbers of 1 million+ (i.e. 1.2 mil came from Metro police. 1.5 mil from Parks & Rec, someone’s “twitter”!!! *sigh*) that every single right leaning blog has been propagating and never had a decency to correct. At least ABC’s figure, along with CNN and Fox, is less than half inaccurate compare to other inflated numbers of up to 2 million (10-15 folds)!

  4. wm25burke said,

    >>which adequately explains the reason behind such sharp drop in ridership.

    The Metro Rail station at Pentagon City was closed on Sept 7 – and apparently over the entire laborday weekend.

    This I discovered upon arriving Sept 7 afternoon and attempting to ride the metro from Pentagon City, FWIW.

    • deathbymedia said,

      “The Metro Rail station at Pentagon City was closed on Sept 7 – and apparently over the entire laborday weekend.”

      Correct, Crystal City to Pentagon track was closed on “Monday” 9/7/2009 (read: not a weekend), hence the low number of 165k. However the Heritage blogger made it upon himself to do the comparison between the “last” year’s Labor day weekend, 2008, but not 2009′s when he should have done a distributed examination of “all” weekends throughout the month of September in 2008 and 2009.

      Besides, hurricane Hanna was merely one of several reasons, along with consistently lower ridership on Labor day weekend, for such contrast in numbers. On Saturday 9/6/2008 (the Labor day), the ridership was around 202k but there was no major interruption or closure of any of the stations. Moreover, it does not justify the reason as to why he chose only one weekend, let alone the Labor day, for his comparison where knowing full well that figures are ought to be capricious yet he climbs the walls of immodesty and calls his own piece “an unbiased and impartial.”

      • wm25burke said,

        >>merely one of several reasons,

        Correct, my limited understanding is that various maintenance is executed yearly over Labor Day weekend, resulting in decreased ridership. I would expect the maintenance
        activities would vary from year to year, and so attempting to compare ridership over Laborday would already be specious before introducing additional variables, such as a hurricane.

        Hmmm.

        • deathbymedia said,

          Hmmm, almost missed responding to this one. A relatively major maintenance had been only performed on that particular day, 9/6/2009 but not so much on the previous year, or at least it appears on the report that they have put on the Metro site, 2008′s Labor day, which was the date the author of the piece had used to draw his comparison hence the reason for inclusion of other variables such as weather disturbance to complement the list. Of course, other factors such as Labor day ridership plays a major role in the actual extrapolation but I thought when the blogger had used the holiday weekend for his contrast, the implications might have been more apparent to the readers therefore other unreported determinants could have also played a faculty here.

  5. wm25burke said,

    >>less than half inaccurate compare to other inflated numbers of up to 2 million

    Whether it likes it or not ABC News is at the center of the confusion over the erroneous crowd size numbers being circulated – at both ends of the spectrum:

    On the High End:

    From the event stage at the Capitol on 912, Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, said ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. ABC denies ever reporting 1 to 1.5 million people.

    And on the Low End:

    ABCNews.com reported 60,000 to 70,000 protesters and attributed those numbers to the Washington, D.C., fire department. The Chief of the D.C. Fire Department denies “reporting” those numbers; and those numbers are refuted by your analysis.

    Seems pretty clear that, no matter which end you look at it from, ABC’s credibility is in question. An organization with journalistic integrity would engage in fact finding / sharing that would explain the wide variation in the numbers attributed to ABC.

    Who gave the ABC numbers to Kibbe? Who gave the “D.C.F.D” numbers to ABC?

    Where is this analysis by ABC and the MSM – are they not interested in the Truth? Isn’t that their JOB?

    • deathbymedia said,

      “From the event stage at the Capitol on 912, Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, said ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. ABC denies ever reporting 1 to 1.5 million people.”

      You blame ABC for a panoply of partisan individuals with clear agenda to falsely spread rumors about a concocted story which ABC never reported in the first place? Very rich. ABC News never made such estimate in the realm of 1, 1.5 or even 2 million and it was quickly revealed that Malkin unscrupulously had fabricated such allegation while attributing it to ABC. Now you are putting them at the stake because someone, for her own sense of self-aggrandizement, with malice and forethought, makes an inventive hearsay about some news organization while knowing full well they never put out such report. The only people at fault here are Kibbe and Malkin not for their prevarication but rather a blatant lie.

      “Seems pretty clear that, no matter which end you look at it from, ABC’s credibility is in question.”

      Not as much as every other corporate news agency. ABC merely quoted an initial “report” by the Fire Department which wasn’t really refuted by the department but rather denied that it was an “official” one. ABC, Fox, and everyone else should have corrected the report after the department released the statement to the contrary, on Sept. 19, 2009, and come up with their own estimates.

      “Who gave the ABC numbers to Kibbe?”

      Kibbe made up that story and the rest of the world ran with it.

      “Who gave the “D.C.F.D” numbers to ABC?”

      Who knows. The question is who gave 1.5 and 1.2 million figures from Metro Police and Park & Rec. to Tabitha Hale.

      In either case, I can care less how much everyone exaggerated or under-reported their numbers; this particular entry is not about the demise of media (including blogsphere) and their ever shrinking tribute to journalism but rather analytical work on crowd estimation and I would rather keep the focus on refining and improving the gathered data rather than fretting over an obvious decline in collective integrity of this nation.

      • wm25burke said,

        >>You blame ABC for a panoply

        Not so much blame as make responsible – for telling the story of how such disinformation, attributed to them, became widespread so quickly.

        It certainly makes me ponder the value of “Twittering” in a situation like 912.

        Garbage In, Garbage Out.

  6. wm25burke said,

    >>Malkin unscrupulously had fabricated such allegation while attributing it to ABC

    No, it appears actually Malkin picked up on Kibbe’s disinformation – Malkin blames and Kibbe. Meanwhile Kibbe blames it on a “dead iPod” and having allegedly seen “twitters” from someone else on his team, attributed to ABC News.

    If ABC had any interest in the truth, it would pick up the story and find out WHO allegedly gave Kibbe the false information – and then TELL US WHAT HAPPENED.

    Personally, if it can be proved that Kibbe deliberately fabricated and lied – then I’d like to see him hung by his petards in the Peace Circle; because he embarrassed us all and undermined the credibility those who DID show up. Certainly such dishonor should be exposed lest the actor do damage again in the future.

    • deathbymedia said,

      I do not know of any record of Kibbe claiming 2 million attendees so we can say Malkin innocuously picked up on his hasty announcement. I did not dig deeper into how the lies surfaced nor I’m compel to know. I am not a political gossip hunter but have seen a few blogs who meticulously researched the trail of misinformation from its inception to finish — not that I bothered reading much into them.

      Bottom line is, I believe the narrative began when Kibbe fabricated some random figure which was amplified on twitter and picked up by Malkin then caught up like a wild fire in blogsphere. This whole twitter communication is becoming a downfall of news processing. The whole incident is inherently contradictory because the organizers promulgated that “ABC News” had made such claim yet many of the protesters were clamoring as to why the MSM had curtained the event when the same MSM (i.e. ABC News) was being quoted for producing such figures in the first place.

      “If ABC had any interest in the truth, it would pick up the story and find out WHO allegedly gave Kibbe the false information – and then TELL US WHAT HAPPENED.”

      You would rather ABC sue an individual to extract something that there is a remote chance of never being revealed? Kibbe can equivocate just as easily as he did in the first round to buy his way out.

      “because he embarrassed us all and undermined the credibility those who DID show up”

      There is no difference between Matt Kibbe of Freedomwork and Wes Boyd of Moveon.org — as I’ve said, they are a same two-headed snake who feeds on people’s ignorance and impressionability. What’s more degrading is that the participants had gone to the nation’s capital to demand truth from their representatives yet the head of the organization who planned the whole party lies in their face.

      • wm25burke said,

        >>You would rather ABC sue

        No, I’d rather they do their JOB and perform the investigative Journalism necesary to deliver the truth.

        That, or quit pretend what their producing is “Journalism”.

        • deathbymedia said,

          “Occasionally,” (read: not often but once in a while) one of the stronger qualities of left leaning newspapers is doing quantitatively a more investigative work, albeit to some degree bias in nature or perhaps the conclusions drawn are skewed. On the other hand, the right leaning newspapers tend to do numerically lesser number of such work and mostly rely on an “opinionated” journalism which inherently can be more tilted toward certain tenet rather than being objective.

          When it comes to visual media, there are public broadcasting networks along with few underground, local news casters who for most part strive not to deviate from true format of journalism although not always succeed in their endeavor. Nonetheless, even they end up covering the same topics-of-a-day that are set and pushed by a larger pool of media organizations as they cough up headlines but at least there is an attempt to present the news in a more balanced and comprehensive fashion.

          Below that, there are network news agencies which are either bias or soporific. Underneath are cable news layer which basically produces garbage thorough and thorough. At the bottom of this swamp, we have talk radio but doesn’t matter if it belongs to the left, right, up, or down, it is a bovine feces start to finish. My advice to everyone is to turn off your TV’s, turn off your radios, close your newspapers and keep them off.

  7. wm25burke said,

    >>refining and improving the gathered data

    Toward that end I’ve uploaded a photo containing a telephoto view of the right side of the Mall.

    http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1605/3b17988a.jpg

    The folks visilbe there aren’t yet part of your data.

    • deathbymedia said,

      There are several issues with the photo. First when was it taken, the exact time that is? More importantly, what folks are we targeting here, people on the perimeter of the pool or the ones lined up on the edge of the 3rd St.? If the former, the density on my color coded map have the area marked with the second highest density. If the latter, then you must note that this very “limited” spot — back of the middle of the block 12 — was a very congestive route (along with Pennsylvania Ave. parking lot) where people steaming in and out of the rally therefore highly capricious in nature. Above all, this was taken from a distance with very low angle which makes it very unreliable for “density” assessment.

      • wm25burke said,

        The time is present in the EXIF data – but it is Mtn time as I did not reset the clock in camera. So add 2 hours.

        For verification / calibration see this image

        http://www.pbase.com/wm25burke/image/117122086&exif=Y

        which includes a clock in the Capitol Visitor center.

        There are folks visible on the Right side of the National Mall, on the dirt path, all the way from 3rd street and merging with the crowd at the NACCP event, who are not represented on your density plot.

        Another shot, looking back toward the capitol after the event, shows the same area of the path relatively clear.

        http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/7281/3b18067.jpg

        You should at least represent that area in black with “Unknown density”. There ARE people there; and just because we can’t figure out how to count them does not mean they un-exist, as the present plot implies.

        • deathbymedia said,

          I had assumed you stripped EXIF data before posting the image so I didn’t bother to check. First of all, holy mother of professional cameras, you have 1D Mark II? Who did you rob?

          Second, even though the clock in the Capitol Hill building displays 2 hours ahead of your camera’s (9am vs. 7 am), it comes as surprise because extracting time stamp from your block 11 and 12 photo, I concluded that it must have been taken some time before 4 PM (1:57PM + 2 ~ 4 PM). However, reviewing the C-SPAN’s coverage of Tea Party March (fast forward to 10:33), it becomes apparent that a bit of crowdedness at the back of block 12 is self-explanatory. Above all, from 3 PM onward, many of the attendees began departing from the closer areas to Capitol Hill to block 12 and vicinity which also explains columns of people walking away from the rally on the National Mall as you pointed out.

          From your last response, I take it you did not read my article or did not grasp my methodology. The whole purpose of study was to establish a snapshot of the “entire” rally at the highest of number of attendance and “density” which, according to my survey of all the gathered resources, occurred some time between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. Therefore, considering your photo in my density map would defeat the whole purpose as it was taken way outside of that time frame (4 PM) when people were taking an exodus to and away from the National Mall. If you have read the post more carefully, I even presented an analogy of 10 occupants in a 5-bedroom house while shifting them from room to room then claiming 50 people residing in the house.

          I will not take into account people who I have already counted on the front lawns once then doing the same thing on the back blocks. Those are not a new set of data, but rather redundancies. Perhaps I should include this phrase explicitly above to remove any confusion. In all of my photos’ and videos’ description, I have explicitly or implicitly written the reason for decrease or increase of density in certain blocks and adding why the photo is not a good candidate for inclusion due to the time slot in which it was taken. Reviewing block 12 resources should give you a hint you as to why the photo provided by you would not fall in that category. The map for most part designates an adequate crowd disparity for that very spot at the height of the rally. However, your photo was taken a few hours later when people had moved to that area, creating an apparent crowdedness. But then again, we don’t count “the same” people who were included in the calculation every time they geographically relocated — that would create redundancy and skews the estimation. Finally, for people who were going in and out of the rally, I have added 15,000 to the final tally to cover such fluctuation.

          Fun facts: the last photo you provided is of Tom Helling, the cross walker who incidentally (as I gathered from one other attendee) was passing through Washington D.C. that day and had nothing to do with the rally. He is planning to go from Maine to Mexico while carrying this cross “on wheel” which I think he is cheating himself with. He should build a live size cross and no wheel see how far he can drag it.

          • Kelly Hudson said,

            Thats actually pretty funny.

            The cross walker I mean.

  8. wm25burke said,

    >>3 PM onward, many of the attendees began departing from the rally

    Based upon what? Look at the photo again. There are many folks facing towards the capitol – many of them holding signs.

    In fact, when I was nearing the Wash monument after photographing Tom Helling, I ran into a group of 15-20 people who had walked from where their bus was stuck in traffic jam. They were disapointed to find the event over.

    At any rate, you can not just dismiss the folks visilbe on the National Mall – the fact is they are there, and just because you can not calculate a density is no reason to “un-exist” their presence there. So, for your density plot to be honest, the area where they are standing should be black – UNKNOWN.

    • deathbymedia said,

      “Based upon what?”

      Base upon examination of thousands of stills which chronologically establishes the pattern of crowd congregation and ultimately its dispersion. For Pete’s sake, I even posted an additional last video in my previous response, not to mention dozens of images available in the content of main post, discussing this very issue. Watch the video starting at 10:30 again; the front lawn is half empty, an indication that people were dispersing by 4 PM for very good reason: the rally was over. Now go through every single item from block 1 and realize how jam packed it was at the start of the rally (1 PM). Run a visual comparison then pose that question vis-a-vis crowd migration.

      “Look at the photo again. There are many folks facing towards the capitol – many of them holding signs.”

      Those are part of the crowd standing on the perimeter platform of Reflecting Pool (block 11) and appropriately marked with the second highest density on the map (blue region). A row of folks way in the distance are the ones standing on the edge of the 3rd St. — watch several of the clips offered in the resource section of block 12 and read its description. At the start of the rally, which incidentally is the time frame given the most weight in the calculation of density, this very vicinity, in terms of crowdedness, was much more dispersed. As the rally began dwindling down after 3 PM, a small portion of crowd (read: relative to the overall total tally) shifted to the areas including block 12 hence the crowdedness at the later time slots. If I was to consider a higher density for block 12 in that particular time frame (between 3PM and 4PM), then subsequently, I would have to slash a significant amount of density from east, west, and front lawn which, again, defeats the whole purpose of my methodology. Remember, we are assessing the whole rally at the maximum density relative to “all” blocks not block a at time x, block b at time y, or block c at time z where x, y, and z are significantly spaced out time frames. You are still not cognizant of why and how certain parameters have been evaluated. Read the previous response, I’m getting tired of repeating myself.

      “In fact, when I was nearing the Wash monument after photographing Tom Helling, I ran into a group of 15-20 people who had walked from where their bus was stuck in traffic jam. They were disapointed to find the event over.”

      What are you, kidding me? “20″ people at 5 PM! I bet 50 people showed up the day later and had the same sentimental wishes to participate in the rally; perhaps we should include them in the estimation as well, shall we? I have NO interest in such anecdotal picayune. Your zeal is impeding you from providing a cogent reasoning for your unfounded disposition.

      “At any rate, you can not just dismiss the folks visilbe on the National Mall – the fact is they are there, and just because you can not calculate a density is no reason to “un-exist” their presence there. So, for your density plot to be honest, the area where they are standing should be black”

      Those are the folks who are “leaving” the rally. You don’t count people exiting a football stadium when you’ve already counted them at the ticket counter/entrance, do you? Did you even read my previous post? Am I conversing with a sane person? Try to put things into perspective for once.

  9. wm25burke said,

    >>I had assumed you stripped EXIF data before posting

    And how did that “Assumption” work out?

    Seems to me the assumption that the folks on the mall in that photo are leaving – is equally suspect. :-)

    • deathbymedia said,

      Are you one of those guys who clings to superficial sensationalization to elevate his part of argument? Using a diversionary generalization to spray paint the entire premise with the veneer of incertitude doesn’t constitute an eloquent response. I asked you about the time when the picture was taken which turned out your camera’s clock being off by several hours, hence quenching my reasonable suspicion. It’s presumptuous of you to conjecture that my assumption was without a merit. Drop that meretricious babble.

      “[...] folks on the mall in that photo are leaving…”

      Are you suggesting a considerable number of “new” attendees arrived after 4 or 5 PM when the rally was “over?” Even in your own photo, the majority of people on the “National Mall” are facing the Washington Monument, translation: departure. How many more did arrive after 6PM? 8PM? After midnight? The day after? You tried to interject a palaver into discussion to gain a self-satisfying psychological upper hand. In the realm of rational discourse, there is no place for such inanity.

  10. Kelly Hudson said,

    Your numbers are only taking into account that area. There were far more areas filled by the end of the protest. You can view the MSNBC coverage of it here where they show the aerial views in frame every so often.

    http://deathbymedia.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/912-washington-dc-tea-party-rally-crowd-estimation/

    • deathbymedia said,

      Your numbers are only taking into account that area.”

      What does “that area” refer to?

      There were far more areas filled by the end of the protest.”

      Such as? Please specify the areas other than the ones color coded in either of the maps.

      You can view the MSNBC coverage of it here where they show the aerial views in frame every so often.”

      That oft-discussed video was taken at Willard Hotel from the Freedom Plaza which pertains to the march on the Pennsylvania Ave.. From your statement, I take it you did not bother reading the article; my methodology forgoes the march itself as the various parameters are capriciously unreliable to evaluate and instead employs a stationary scheme — as oppose to mobile — where a snapshot of entire rally is taken into consideration.

      I should also point out if you look at the time on the MSNBC report its 7:15pm.

      Please stop mindlessly clutching anything that appears to pander to your misunderstanding of whole situation just to aggrandize the editorials of hyperbole. Look closely, the report was being broadcast at 7:15 PT (Pacific Time) not 7:15 PM (10:15 ET, the local time in the “morning”). I hope the obvious brightness of day wasn’t lost in your observation. 7:15pm Pacific Time would equate to 10:15pm Eastern Time when the sun of rationality perhaps would have had been set for close to 3 hours (sunset Washington D.C. 9/12/2009: 7:11pm).

      • Kelly Hudson said,

        I dont recall posting in a way that would present itself as a hostile attack. However you seem to be hell bent on replying in a way that would suggest I had.

        Do you REALLY think that its going to help to simply outright deny that you might be wrong? And my clutching to something I do not understand? I do in fact understand, and thats one of the main reasons I came to try and add to this conversation. In addition to that there is also the Obama inauguration map which puts 240 thousand ticketed guests in the immediate area where you under calculated. With another 946 thousand along pen ave.

        Here is the link to the Obama inauguration seating map.

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-01-19-crowd_N.htm

        With another using that map to compare and calculate to the 9/12 rally.

        http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/10545

        Theres no confirmation if this photo is authentic and without any cg manipulation.

        http://iowntheworld.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/capitol-view-lo-res.jpg

        There is too much evidence supporting much larger numbers at the event, and that could be a problem. Because if the crowds were that large then the country as a whole needs to figure out how to alleviate this mess and work together.

        Your insulting reply isnt appreciated. Im tired of listening to people like you refusing to believe these facts. Much of the strat Ive seen used elsewhere in denying the numbers are the very same that I once thought only republicans would sink to.

        And there are in fact stationary views as well that depict pen ave filled to the hilt as well as the immediate area depicted in the photos you used in your calculations.

        When I first realized the magnitude of the rally I was pretty surprised myself. That surprise turned to anger once I realized that both sides in all of this are being just as stubborn and ignorant.

        While I served as an 0311 (rifleman) with the US Marines, the country fell apart. Both myself and those I served beside feel betrayed by everything that has been going on. And no not by the Republicans, or the Democrats….

        The betrayal comes from the American people as a whole and the bitter attitude of your reply only serves to reinforce that feeling. People such as yourself refuse to see that the larger issue and likewise refuse to believe that the opposite to Obama is as numerous as it has become.

        And for that very same opposition? They are just as bad and just as bitter.

        Myself and those I served with did so to preserve this country and not to watch as two angry camps of citizens trample all over each other. Instead, you do just that and become hostile when either side tries to weigh in with an opinion that might differ from your own.

        And the funny part is I never even said that I support the tea party movement or if I was anti-Obama. Yet your reply is written in a way that would suggest I am not on your side.

        I dont have to be anti Obama to realize that the 9/12 rally was much larger than what we may have been led to believe. A good amount of those people that were there were as Ignorant as Ive ever seen. Many of them racist, and many of them unable to grasp the fact that their methodology isnt helping at all.

        And the ignorance an naive attitude of the people on the other side is no better.

        • deathbymedia said,

          I dont recall posting in a way that would present itself as a hostile attack. However you seem to be hell bent on replying in a way that would suggest I had.”

          Just because I was pointing out the obvious misconceptions, absurdities, and a voluminous erratum in your poorly constructed argument and often lacking any ensemble of rational, it does not constitute a disparagement. Quit playing the victim-hood card; on the other hand, I might forgo of such rule and rein on you this time because apparently you are cumbersomely begging for it.

          Do you REALLY think that its going to help to simply outright deny that you might be wrong?

          Just because you throw a yoke of assumption around my neck, it doesn’t make it so. I’ve simply illustrated the panoply of non-sequiturs, impertinent evidence, and absurdity of your rushed conclusions. If a person reveals the manifestation of your flawed and frankly disturbingly out of touch with reality arguments, it does not automatically evince to selling hubris. Drop that charade.

          my clutching to something I do not understand?

          That means you are snatching other irrelevant topics and slapping them right into the discourse where they don’t belong (i.e. misappropriation of time related issue on MSNBC video, etc.). Do I have to spell out everything for you?

          thats one of the main reasons I came to try and add to this conversation.

          And so far, you have contributed none. Discuss the main article, don’t run around aimlessly brandishing other blogs unless there is smidgen of correlation between the methodologies.

          there is also the Obama inauguration map which puts 240 thousand ticketed guests in the immediate area where you under calculated.

          Oh! Here we go again. May I borrow an assertion you made later on in your response where you conjecture, “Personally, I believe the numbers likely hovered near one million.” Given the ticketed chart supposedly seated only 240,000, according to the produced map, then may I ask how all of a sudden your “personal belief” compelled you to elicit a conclusion where a number of such multitude (4 times to be exact) has been derived from the original source (USA Today)? Your entire run-around argument is a self-contradictory zinger in itself and your refusal to burst out of this bubble of gullibility is an indicative of your intellectual laziness. Finally, juxtaposing the USA Today’s map with the reality of 9/12 crowd boundaries illustrates that one must subtract areas between 4th and 3rd St.’s in addition to the needed exclusion of large region between the perimeter of Reflecting Pool up to 3rd St. as they contained a greater disparity of attendees compare to Inauguration’s.

          If that wasn’t enough, on the Inauguration day, there were substantial number of seats assigned for officials and affiliates which were patently absent at 9/12 event where the podium and buffer zone had even chopped out a portion of the front lawn while the Inauguration had the luxury of being set up on all corners of Capitol steps and balconies, from the east wing to the west wing, not to mention the built-up and expanded podium. So yes, the 120,000 is actually a very realistic figure (half of 240,000 if you haven’t noticed). If it’s not much trouble to you, read the “The Myth of the 2 Million Attendees” section and make sure to click on every single provided picture to realize the discrepancies between the two events.

          With another using that map to compare and calculate to the 9/12 rally

          I told you to stop posting every piece of drollery you happen to pick up on the Internet. That blog entry doesn’t even attempt to justify his fabricated fantasies. The entire premise revolves around “here is a picture, we conclude 1 million people attended the march.” Somersault reasoning. Bravo cup cake, bravo. And how is his 100-word blog germane to my methodology?

          Theres no confirmation if this photo is authentic and without any cg manipulation

          It is authentic but what does the picture tell you? What conclusion did you reach at by observing a “wide angle” shot of the event? Do you have a brain capacity to project the presented image and map it onto the aerial plot? Your inability to construct a cogent reasoning is not only disquieting but rather anthropologically alarming.

          There is too much evidence supporting much larger numbers at the event, and that could be a problem.”

          Really? And where are those “too much evidence” we are so unjustly being deprived of? You have failed to demonstrate a single valid point with the ones gratuitously offered so far now you have taken it upon yourself to stir up a bigger cauldron to cook up a smorgasbord of other imaginary evidence? You must learn to crawl first before competing in the 100m sprint.

          if the crowds were that large then the country as a whole needs to figure out how to alleviate this mess and work together.”

          A conjunction key-word is “if.”

          Im tired of listening to people like you refusing to believe these facts.”

          What facts? You are still drunk on your non-existing litigation.

          Much of the strat Ive seen used elsewhere in denying the numbers are the very same that I once thought only republicans would sink to.”

          I don’t speak gibberish, English please.

          And there are in fact stationary views as well that depict pen ave filled to the hilt as well as the immediate area depicted in the photos you used in your calculations.”

          That also fails to pass the coherency test. What do you want me to say; I can’t even decipher what you are babbling about. Are you a garble?

          When I first realized the magnitude of the rally I was pretty surprised myself. That surprise turned to anger once I realized that both sides in all of this are being just as stubborn and ignorant.”

          That’s called non-sequitur. What does your first statement have anything to do with the clamor-laden verdict you reached on the second half?

          While I served as an 0311 (rifleman) with the US Marines…

          Let me clarify something right here, right now, I won’t stand by so people march in here try to bluster self-righteous indignation to win an argument. I can care less if you are a doctor, an astronaut, or the God himself; stick to the topic or get out. You can boast about shooting a moving target from 500 yard — care factor: zero. This is about crowd estimation and nothing else. Capisci? I don’t want to babysit someone’s emotions.

          The betrayal comes from the American people as a whole and the bitter attitude of your reply only serves to reinforce that feeling.”

          I’m not here to wipe someone’s tears clean because they feel insulted. What kind of soldier are you? You somehow contrived this fantasy that my perceived harsh responses stemmed from an ideological stance when they haven’t even been discussed. I’m upset because your self-contradictory assertions vis-a-vis this very “subject” are mind numbingly bland and down right irrational. Your hastily drawn conclusions are absurdly bizarre and lack a serious merit.

          People such as yourself refuse to see that the larger issue and likewise refuse to believe that the opposite to Obama is as numerous as it has become.”

          Did you bother reading even the first paragraph of my post? Did you? Did my flagrant imploration somehow fell on deaf ears when I asked, “this is NOT a political discussion.”? Did you or did you not? *sigh*

          Instead, you do just that and become hostile when either side tries to weigh in with an opinion that might differ from your own.”

          What opinion clad? Did you see me elaborating on the issues in which the protesters attended the march for? Did you? I did NOT weigh in precisely because this very study has NOTHING to do with one’s political affiliation. Yet, when I point out the shortcomings of your argument which incidentally are “apolitical,” you take it upon yourself, like a disgruntled little child, to mis-characterize my correspondence when an un-enunciated [sic] collusion simply is spectral. It is not my fault that your low cognitive functionality has accelerated the manifestation of delusional stigmatization.

          And the funny part is I never even said that I support the tea party movement or if I was anti-Obama. Yet your reply is written in a way that would suggest I am not on your side.”

          It is not about taking sides. You have this forged mirage in your head that my censure is politically driven. I can care less at what altar you worship; this study does not discriminate base on a credo.

          I dont have to be anti Obama to realize that the 9/12 rally was much larger than what we may have been led to believe.”

          Your “feelings” are scientifically inconsequential. Try to argue your premise on a more concrete foundation.

          Many of them racist…”

          That is such a discriminatory remark. What makes you think there are “many” amongst them who harbor racist objectives? I don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about.

  11. Kelly Hudson said,

    Whoops sorry about that.

    Heres the intended link.

  12. Kelly Hudson said,

    I should also point out if you look at the time on the MSNBC report its 7:15pm.

  13. Kelly Hudson said,

    Sorry about posting so many times in a row….

    Sometimes I think my brain needs a tune up. Or perhaps an oil change :P
    Then again it might even help if somebody would crack me over the head with a frying pan.

    I meant to post this picture as well but couldn’t find it in my folder until now. But theres no confirmation if this photo is authentic and without any cg manipulation.

    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/capitol-view-lo-res.jpg

    • I Am Not Right said,

      See;

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/42483797@N03/sets/72157622235563903/

      Using Photoshop stitch together images 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.

      Looks awfully familiar don’t you think?

      (It’s shot from almost the same location as your image link).

      Horizontal FOV of this composite is ~90 degrees, highly pixelated (can’t clearly see any individuals, very low oblique angle negates any estimates of crowd densities, trees block ~50% of the image so that we do not know if any people are behind these areas other than verbal remarks that can not be verified independently from other high resolution high angle photographic evidence).

      Now why would someone post an arguably very low vertical/horizontal resolution image?

      It was done on purpose, to obfuscate any analysis of said image and a blatant attempt to obscure actual objective crowd estimates.

      Who is tkibbe?

      See;

      http://cei.org/content/terry-kibbe

      Wife of Matt Kibbe, president of Freedomworks.

      See;

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreedomWorks#Personnel

      The image you linked to is only 405 pixels in height (minus black borders).

      I’d like to see someone post a scanned image from the join Freedomworks poster they are selling, but I won’t ante up their joining fee just to see firsthand for myself.

  14. Kelly Hudson said,

    Now that I am no longer under the influence of prescribed narcotics, I decided it best to provide a more coherent response than my last. I went back over it a little bit ago and felt that the rambling was a bit much. As such, I’ll go ahead and elaborate on my feelings pertaining to the matter with a clear head.

    The true nature of my annoyance wasn’t in the formula you used to calculate the numbers nor was it your stance on the topic as a whole. Instead it was in how you presented your data as well as the undertone of arrogance in your various comment replies. The matter of fact nature only serves to strengthen the rift that has developed between the two sides of the debate. The predominant feeling of bitterness towards anybody who disagrees with you is the exact same thing I’ve seen in many of the pro tea party articles as well.

    This argument has done nothing but stoke the fires of animosity between the ultra conservative right and the far left. It provides ammunition for both sides and lends itself as an excuse for accusations of denial on all fronts. The notion that we could all simply erase the lines of battle and instantly come together is of course unrealistic and otherwise impossible. Yet, we as a nation could at least agree to disagree even if to stand together for a brief time as a symbol of unification and unwavering resolve.

    Many of the opinions I see expressed time and time again revolve around the misguided idea that the anti-Obama camp is nothing but a fringe group of republicans. Such a myopic belief is dangerous and never-the-less counterproductive for the United States as a whole. The line between minority and majority is paper thin and the 2008 popular vote results support that.

    Obama : 66,882,230 (53%)
    McCain : 58,343,671 (46%)

    Those numbers alone prove that a one million+ anti-Obama protest is in no way far-fetched. Coming to this realization is critical in preventing further damage to an already fragile situation. Let’s not forget the fact that bush had already driven a dagger into the heart of America by ignoring half the country during his 2 terms. And now, the Obama administration and its supporters are making the same mistake by refusing to believe what lay right before their eyes.

    On the flip side of this debacle we see many Republicans refusing to budge as well in their assessment of 9/12. Personally, I believe the numbers likely hovered near one million, and not the two plus million that they claim. It wasn’t that long ago that I was at an anti-Obama rally here in Chicago and was awe struck at the turnout. I had figured that that in Obama’s own back yard we would never see anything but a hundred or so people at once. Yet I stood there to bear witness to something I could barely believe. Despite being a republican, I am also a realist. In any sense, that rally was blown out of proportion by the GOP just as on 9/12. The numbers were indeed impressive, but nowhere near the supposedly official claim.

    Many believe the 9/12 Tea Party to be something of an anomaly. The amount of racist remarks made on camera overshadowed the fact that the majority there were of noble intent. I’d go as far as to relate those ignorant souls as a disease or poison spreading through the republican base.

    Sadly, I have personally seen some fairly ugly things amongst the democrats as well. But I accept that there will be bad apples in every group and therefore will not change my overall feeling of its supporters. In this I refer to the belief that Democrats by majority are a bit more level headed than my Republican brethren.

    While I am not happy with Obama, I can still find a bit of reprieve in his being elected. I am VERY proud of my country for at least partially overcoming prejudice and ignorance. I could care less about color or sexual preference. To me, they are all Americans and that’s what really counts in my book. We are still a long way from widespread acceptance, but at least it’s a start.

    In the end, everything is tied together by a single thread. Likewise this brings me back to the original reason of this post. You are without a doubt a person of great intellect and I respect that. But with that intellect you could be doing so much more than investing time trying to disprove how many people may or may not have attended the 9/12 rally. A young man such as your self could accomplish so much by becoming part of the solution as opposed to one of the people holding us back.

    And that goes for the Republicans as well.

    Perhaps we can once again move forward as a single cohesive nation. Then again, perhaps we’ve already gone too far to repair the damage wrought upon our country over the last 9 years.

    But I can still be hopeful.

    • I Am Not Right said,

      Obama: 69,456,897 (52.92%) not 66,882,230 (53%)
      McCain: 59,934,814 (45.66%) not 58,343,671 (46%)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Nationwide_Results

      Oops, you are off by a few million, but who’s counting, right?

      Obama’s 9.5M+ spread is almost 4X the spread from Bush (43) two elections combined.

      So compared to Bush in 2000 and 2004, 2008 was a virtual LANDSLIDE!

      “Those numbers alone prove that a one million+ anti-Obama protest is in no way far-fetched.”

      Hmm, NO!

      If I were to use your seriously flawed “logic” the Obama Inauguration crowd estimate would be 18,000,000 (10X) of the actual crowd estimate of 1,800,000.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguration_of_Barack_Obama#Crowds_and_general_ticket_holders

      The 1,000,000 square foot total presented here is a very good estimate for the total areas where there were crowds of people during the height of 912DC. Just casual observations from very low oblique angle crowd images strongly suggests an average aerial density of at least ten square feet per person, not one square foot per person, not two square feet per person, not five square feet per person, and IMHO not even ten square feet per person.

      In other words, 100,000 for 912DC is a VERY generous (and high end) estimate.

      • Kelly Hudson said,

        It wasn’t my logic at all that I used to estimate Obama’s inauguration crowd. It was the official seating map I went off of. I’m in no position to make any estimates on my own.

        Im also not in any position to argue it as thats the only bit of info I have on it.

        As for the photo…

        If you look at my comment near the link I said I cant confirm that it wasnt photo manipulated. I’m not about to post an image and call it fact unless I am sure of it.

        As for the popular vote.

        I took that info from CNN as listed here.
        http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/

        The NYtimes also lists the numbers I provided at
        http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html

        As does the Washington Post.

        Hrm, thats interesting though. I checked the Wiki link of course and it does in fact list different numbers than the links I provided. It does make me wonder if it is wrong, or if the news agencies are wrong.

        • I Am Not Right said,

          The Wikipedia numbers are from the OFFICIAL source, the FEC.

          The final numbers take 3+ months as each state reports their final audited numbers to the FEC.

          Or some such.

          The media numbers are all whithin a few days of the election, all of which are based off of unofficial totals and estimates and projections.

          As to the photograph, there is nothing wrong with making a composite (stitched) image from several overlapping images, the critique here is that said composite image is, in fact, of very low resolution, and can’t be used quantitatively for crowd estimation.

      • deathbymedia said,

        Just casual observations from very low oblique angle crowd images strongly suggests an average aerial density of at least ten square feet per person, not one square foot per person, not two square feet per person, not five square feet per person, and IMHO not even ten square feet per person.”

        You are considering a uniform density throughout the occupied area — that simply wasn’t the case. As many of the photos and clips indicate, certain segments were more dense than the others so a distributed 10 sqft per person is not justifiable. Unless you somehow averaged all the painstakingly estimated density layers of each block and came up with that figure. But again, that very conclusion requires someone actually doing the underlying work to create the density map in the first place. I’m just trying to preserve some credit for myself here. :)

        • Kelly Hudson said,

          As for when credit is due.

          Whether I agree with for formula and method or not, I have to say it is fairly impressive. My head would have exploded long before coming to a final calculation once those numbers began to dance around in my head like little flaming imps doing the nutcracker.

        • I Am Not Right said,

          The critique here is that you have made ~40 area subdivision assumptions AND correspondingly ~ 40 density assumptions.

          All from very oblique (very low angle) images.

          IMHO too many area/density subdivision assumptions bases entirely on sparse and very oblique imagery.

          So, for instance, comparing these images with similar imagery from the 2009 Inauguration (from DefenseImagery.mil and private sector imagery) for the front lawn (your section numbers 1, 4, 5, and 7) it is quite evident that 912DC had lower crowd densities than the 2009 Inauguration (where most of these areas had ~100% seated population).

          The 2009 Inauguration had 28,000 seats in an area covering 236,000 square feet (or ~ eight square feet per person).

      • nugun said,

        And you must realize that MOST Republicans HATED McCain.

        McCain won the nomination largely because of those states that allowed independents to vote in primaries.

        And many people Republicans & Conservatives did not vote for McCain. So in light of that. You have an uber-popular Democrat with record turn-out. And a very uncared for Republican candidate. And the spread was 54% to 46% that’s only 8%

        I am curious. Let’s take this photo at face value.
        http://iowntheworld.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/capitol-view-lo-res.jpg

        The crowd seems to extend further to the sights. It also fills a lot of tree areas.

        Here is a photo of mine. Quite a few people were under and around trees.

        http://www.nugun.org/photos/Gallery_9_12_in_DC/pages/IMG_4018.htm

        We arrived late. Took us an hour to find parking. Many people were leaving. But many more were still arriving. This is part of what makes it hard to calculate. We walked around DC for a while and saw floods of attendees.

        Wiith the inauguration all the attendees are there at one. With this sort of rally it was spread out much more over time.

        As for density. I can show you what the density was at the port-a-potties.
        http://www.nugun.org/photos/Gallery_9_12_in_DC/pages/IMG_3935.htm

        Sadly, although I wanted to get a nice panoramic. And had the lens to do it. I was never able to get to a point of elevation to gain a full capture.

        In my own calculations. I figured there were about 250,000+ in attendance on 9-12. That said, I also would say the so-called Million Man march was only about 400,000.

        There were a lot of areas cordoned off. Like on the grassy mall. I too believe the 2,000,000 is a bit far fetched. But I’d probably say 300K-500K in DC is not an outrageous estimate.

        I believe most figures for these events are inflated. The Promise Keepers march probably being the biggest.

        The difference is when it’s some liberal event with a meager 2,000 attendees the media with claim tens of thousands. When it’s a Libertarian/Conservative march with hundreds of thousands. The media wants to say it was merely tens of thousands.

        So is it any wonder that we’re a bit miffed, that we have so much distrust. Granted, I think you’ve at least tried to approach it rationally.

        I’d love to see your calculations on Million Man March, Promise Keepers, etc

        • deathbymedia said,

          I am curious. Let’s take this photo at face value. The crowd seems to extend further to the sights. It also fills a lot of tree areas.”

          Once again, after all the correspondences and exchanges, it seems like certain group of people are still intoxicated with their own sense of stupidity. You just can’t get through these people–you just can’t and you better not to try because at the end, you’ll drive yourself insane. Jason, did you even bother mapping the crowd boundaries of that particular photo, which by the way does not show the entire neither east nor west lawn, with the borders drawn on the areal color coded density and “specifically” boundary maps (yes, the first map represents the boundaries)? If you did, you would have known how idiotic your comment sounds like. Do everyone a favor, stop posting and start reading.

          Here is a photo of mine. Quite a few people were under and around trees.”

          Congratulations! And what does that have to do with anything? The photo was taken on the steps of the Grant statues and frankly doesn’t show much of any tree. And even if it did, do you see any discrepancy between the proposed density map (region 6) and whatever density you are supposedly trying to object to? But feel free to drop a random line just to stir the conversation. You know, since touting rationality is not your strongest suite, but hey, why not!

          We arrived late. Took us an hour to find parking. Many people were leaving. But many more were still arriving. This is part of what makes it hard to calculate. We walked around DC for a while and saw floods of attendees.”

          If you attended the rally after 3:30 PM, yes, a portion of the attendees were departing but according to your photos, this wasn’t the case. People who you observed “arriving” were basically a segment of the participants who had left the rally for personal reasons, i.e. food, and rejoining the rally. Finally, and once again, surprise, surprise, another Tea Party’er who did not perceive the crux of the study. What a shocking revelation. So tell us, does “walking around DC” also constitute Maryland and Virgina? Just because you bumped in protesters near the “Capital Hill” on that day, it doesn’t give you the right to fancy unverifiable figures.

          With this sort of rally it was spread out much more over time.”

          No, it just means, your mind is playing tricks on you. A nice, cozy way to satisfy your psychological needs by buttering the event as being loosely coupled and “spread” around the town. Sort of pissing in your boot and feeling warm about it.

          As for density. I can show you what the density was at the port-a-potties.”

          I don’t even know where you are going with that one. Are you disparaging the senior citizens and their constant need to access restroom facilities? Moreover, the density was considered for static bulk of crowd not the ones making trips around the area or else the count would contain “spurious” data. I hardly doubt you can follow a simple logical construct.

          In my own calculations. I figured there were about 250,000+ in attendance on 9-12. That said, I also would say the so-called Million Man march was only about 400,000.”

          What a big man you are. You come up with such figures by painting a broad brush of assertiveness and simply stating “my own calculations” without actually revealing the methodology and estimation, yet expecting the whole world to take your words for it. I got ya. If that wasn’t enough, you spiced up the prose with intrinsically throwing around a declarative assumption, undermining a march from 15 years ago! Wow! This is just magical. Not just any march but rather the one that surely gets a lot of Tea Partiers riled up. Good come back buddy.

          There were a lot of areas cordoned off. Like on the grassy mall.”

          Glad to see you noticed the geographical limitations. That “grassy mall” is called The Mall by the way since it appears you were so lost around the town.

          But I’d probably say 300K-500K in DC is not an outrageous estimate.

          You are jumping hoops a little bit here. You went from your self-proclaimed, unverifiable 250k to all of a sudden 500k! Nice leap in an intellectual laziness.

          The difference is when it’s some liberal event with a meager 2,000 attendees the media with claim tens of thousands. When it’s a Libertarian/Conservative march with hundreds of thousands. The media wants to say it was merely tens of thousands. So is it any wonder that we’re a bit miffed, that we have so much distrust. “

          Did you even bother finish reading the first paragraph? Do you have acid poured in your eyes? Your toddler barfed on your laptop and distracted you from reading pass the first sentence? Perhaps years of AM Radio programming to reflexively react to any distressing information has led you to develop such sleight-of-mind. No, as a matter of fact, for most part, it is the other way around. Any time conservatives squeak, the entire tent convulses in hysteria and marches to their ruptured drum, demands anyone and everyone to cease at what they are doing in order to attract attention to their feigned plight. It’s always about playing a victimization–one just cannot deny all the huff and puff and chest swelling that went to have every news source covering such event.

          I’d love to see your calculations on Million Man March, Promise Keepers, etc

          I would love for you to stop projecting yourself.

    • deathbymedia said,

      Now that I am no longer under the influence of prescribed narcotics…

      Good thing we established that your condition is not entirely hopeless. I was getting worried.

      Instead it was in how you presented your data as well as the undertone of arrogance in your various comment replies.”

      First, how did I present my “data” that you found it ill-suited? Second, my reproaching responses is due to the pronounced ignorance displayed in some of the comments where logical constructs are largely ignored and stupidity is abundantly supplied as an exchanged currency of the day.

      The matter of fact nature only serves to strengthen the rift that has developed between the two sides of the debate. The predominant feeling of bitterness towards anybody who disagrees with you is the exact same thing I’ve seen in many of the pro tea party articles as well.”

      ARGH! I knew you are going to repeat your old screed. I haven’t even divulge my personal political beliefs so anyone can just barge in here judge me for something that hasn’t even been verbally communicated. I only responded to your factually challenged declarative opinions with regard to the “crowd estimation” — nothing more, nothing less. There is no conspiratorial underlying tone here.

      The rest of your comment simply seeks to reach a social harmony through a feel-good political syncretism which has no place in this particular post. I invite everyone to read and re-read the first paragraph before killing me inside.

      • Kelly Hudson said,

        My old screed? I hadn’t posted here until recently.

        It’s just something that agitates me. It was the same way I felt when Republicans would act as such against democrats prior to 2008.

        Though Ill admit that perhaps I was making assumptions as to your political stance. Which goes against the same thing I was condemning in the first place. I know when to admit I’m wrong.

        As for my initial posts… Well I’m ashamed to say it was the drugs talking that I am currently taking due to some health issues. It is why I wrote the new post later on. When I went back and looked at them I could see the stupidity and raving as well.

        I normally don’t rant and rave about my service history, or deployments or anything of the sort. I prefer to keep the grit and grime details of my experience in the Marines to myself.

        Though keep in mind I do no regret serving even under bush. And if and when my health problems are taken care of I’m hoping to return to service under Obama for the Afghanistan campaign. I serve because I respect the country, the system, and the military machine.

        And in that system that I respect, Obama was elected. It doesn’t matter to me so much if my candidate wins. What matters to me is that our democracy continues.

        Maybe I am preaching unrealistic views of harmony that won’t ever come to pass. But I’d rather do that than spit in the face of the very same system that gives me the right to live free in the first place.

        • deathbymedia said,

          My old screed? I hadn’t posted here until recently.”

          It was a reference to your last two responses.

          It’s just something that agitates me.”

          But you can’t just furnish every blog with an off-topic, emotionally charged exhortation. For the very reason that people, in general, are incapable of staying sane with sentimental brouhahas, especially on politically hot topic such as this, I strictly made a criterion to avoid discussing politics in the first place.

          Though keep in mind I do no regret serving even under bush.”

          Soldiers simply take orders, that’s what they do and that’s what they are trained for. It’s the duty of civilian overlords to make sure their service is not misused. This whole blame-the-soldier-for-misdeeds-of-war is sophomoric and merits no rational response.

          • Kelly Hudson said,

            Ok you just said something which I appreciate more than you can possibly imagine.

            Thank you.

  15. nikki said,

    Wow! I am completely impressed with this analysis of the crowd size from 9/12. Can you do it for the 10/11/09 Equality March?

    • deathbymedia said,

      Your implied snide at the gay community was not lost.

      • nikki said,

        actually, you are incorrect. I was marching at the 10/11/09 equality march. I am gay. I am just a regular person who is interested in a crowd estimate from the march I attended and I can’t get one since they are not published anymore. I saw your site when I was searching for “crowd estimate” and I was really impressed with the analytical approach instead of a “guess”. So, there was no “snide” at the gay community since I am part of that community. I just wanted to know if you could re-create the analysis of the crowd for another event.

        • Kelly Hudson said,

          Nikki quick semi-related question

          How long had that march been in the works for? From the little I can find on it the numbers were impressive. I’m just curious as to how much prep time was involved.

          • nikki said,

            a few months, Kelly. Cleve Jones organized it. It was grass-roots and we were not marching against Obama…just as a reminder to him to keep his campaign promises to bring full equality to LGBT Americans. It was also designed to teach activism to the LGBT youth and take the “message” back to home towns across the US.

            • Kelly Hudson said,

              Ahh I understand.

        • deathbymedia said,

          Nikki,

          Prior to your initial post, I had half a dozen repugnant anti-gay comments (weren’t published) in the span of 24 hours — all with unique IP’s which was greatly unprecedented as this post in its entirely is void of gay issues. Of course, if you wish to consider the mendacity of certain individuals who draw parallel views from the “locational” similarities of both events, it all might make sense in a Ted-Bundy sort of way. Impulsively, I was very skeptical of your post so allow me to extend my apologies. But to answer your question, I rarely, if ever, post a blog and I think once a year is more than enough to maintain my sanity in this zoo we’ve come to know as the blogsphere. I have a few dozen other interests in life, compounded with work pretty much take up my entire time.

          • nikki said,

            no problem. I don’t blame you. It actually looks extremely time consuming and very difficult to accomplish. None the less, it is amazing what you were able to do…so, I thought it was worth a shot to ask. Thanks anyway. ;) peace

      • Kelly Hudson said,

        Ive been recovering and completely missed the whole equality march thing. Only now reading about it.

        Im confused from what Im reading however. Were they marching against Obama, or for or what? Obama may not be moving as fast as theyd like, but he is willing to be more accepting than any other president in US history.

  16. I Am Not Right said,

    deathbymedia,

    Suggest you rename two (or three) sections. Reason the Capitol is oriented North-South on it’s major axis, the DC area is defined into quadrents WRT the Capitol building, NE, SE, SW, and NW..

    (1) Eastern Lawn should be (1) Southwestern Lawn or (1) SW Lawn or some such.
    (5) Front Lawn should be (5) West Front Lawn or some such.
    (7) Western Lawn should be (7) Northwestern Lawn or (7) NW Lawn or some such.

    • deathbymedia said,

      You are correct, however, the reason I decided to forgo of an actual directional orientation was because the rally was exclusively held on the west side of the Capitol building. Therefore, it was more sensible to employ a less convoluted strategy to geographically mark each section, hence the relative orientation (facing the Capitol Hill building was instituted as the north even though in reality it’s pointing to the east) rather than an absolute layout (i.e. northwestern, Midwestern, and southwestern, etc.). I had discussed this on the 10h or 11th paragraph in hopes of clarification.

      • I Am Not Right said,

        And therein lies the ambiguity, rotate CW or CCW?

        W becomes E, and E becomes W.

        Confusing, to say the least.

        Your current nomenclature for these three areas would never pass the peer review process.

        I’m a civil engineer with extensive past experiences in land surveying and drafting, and have written numerous technical reports that have gone through extensive peer reviews.

        • deathbymedia said,

          There is no rotation required. My point of reference is the Capitol Hill building and if you stand on the west lawn and “face” the building, then all the other referential points make perfect sense.

          Your current nomenclature for these three areas would never pass the peer review process.”

          “Peer review?” Haha, I wasn’t aiming that high. Nevertheless, if you understood a simple scheme deployed above, then you should have no problem following the rest of the post even though if it does not adhere to the professional methodologies that you might have hoped for, and for that, I concede.

          • I Am Not Right said,

            Doesn’t matter, you say?

            Without a picture your labeling is clearly wrong.

            Even with a picture it is clearly wrong.

            Calling South > East?

            Calling North > West?

            I don’t want you sailing a ship, or flying a plane, or driving a car..

            If you can’t even get first principles right, what are we all to make of your clearly overly detailed area/density subdivision assumptions?

            Forty area/density subdivision assumptions!

            • deathbymedia said,

              Without a picture your labeling is clearly wrong. Even with a picture it is clearly wrong.”

              So which is it, wrong with the picture or wrong without it? Your first sentence doesn’t logically segue on to the second statement. The map is simply a complementary source — with or without it, the point of references and labels should be easily discernible.

              Calling South > East? Calling North > West?

              Labeling south [lawn] as east [lawn] or north [lawn] as west [lawn] without a “referential point” is too meaningless. For your assumption to hold true you must take on a reference point, in this case you chose the front lawn to call [my] east lawn, south and the west lawn, north. Equally, I can nitpick and call such orientation erroneous because there are an infinite number of other referential points one can propose (i.e. your initial assertion of labeling the blocks as Northwestern, Midwestern, and Southwestern). All of these proposals are equally meritorious if one to presume a fixed attribution point. The reason I prefer to label each immediate western enclaves of the Capitol Hill as such was due to the fact that the calculation was confined to a limited region (Capitol Hill building to the east, Constitution Ave. to the north, 3rd St. to the west, and Independence Ave. to the south). Therefore, taking the entire region as a singular enclosure, I can simply focus on more vital issues at hand.

              If you can’t even get first principles right, what are we all to make of your clearly overly detailed area/density subdivision assumptions?

              If you let go of such rigid attachment to hauteur that there is only one way to mark the map, perhaps we can move pass the technical pettiness. My premise regarding to call the eastern, front, and western lawns as such was articulated on the last comment. Allow me to repeat myself: If you stand on the west side of the Capitol Hill building while facing the steps and have that as your referential point, then your right hand side becomes the eastern lawn and the left hand side, the western lawn. Now if you wish to consider this scheme unprofessional, then it’s your prerogative and simply a matter of preference.

              Forty area/density subdivision assumptions!

              A slippery slope.

  17. Kelly Hudson said,

    Alright, the NY Times, CNN, and Washington post use the popular vote numbers that I provided on each respective campaign results page.

    After seeing your WIKI link I did a few more searches. Seems that quite a few sources are all using different numbers listed as official data.

    So I went to the local library and checked the election archives there. The numbers you provided via the wiki are the ones they listed.

    • I Am Not Right said,

      See comment below WRT the FEC and the Freedomworks image/poster.

  18. Kelly Hudson said,

    And to address the freedomworks poster.

    I would like to see the same thing to be honest. As you may have noticed from my link I said I cannot confirm that it is genuine nor that it hadn’t been manipulated. Since I had no solid info on it I wasn’t about to make a claim as to otherwise.

    And right after posting about it, you reply in a way that is dripping with arrogance and an “I am right you are wrong attitude”

    • I Am Not Right said,

      In Photoshop;

      File > Automate > Photomerge

      No manipulation needed from the end user, it’s all done with Photoshop using 100% default settings.

      “dripping with arrogance”

      Are you specifically addressing me?

      Because, if you are, than you need to come to a full understanding of the technical issues and the FEC;

      http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2008/2008presgeresults.pdf

  19. I Am Not Right said,

    Error in (3) Rev. 2, fractions add to 6/5, should be 1, divide by 6 instead of 5?

    • deathbymedia said,

      Corrected, I mistakenly had “2.5″ instead of “1.5″ for 12 sqft density region, however, it only altered the numbers by “150″ which is negligible. In either case, thanks for the catch and I’m sure there are other foibles that I’ve missed.

      • I Am Not Right said,

        You should tabulate your numbers, as I have done, in an Excel spreadsheet.

        That’s how I caught that very tiny mistake, I was just passing it along, so that you would know.

        If you have Excel 2007 or some other software that can read an Excel 2007 spreadsheet (*.xlsx), I can send you that subsection of my 912DC spreadsheet via email.

        The spreadsheet of your numbers is ranked by your 13 major areas and 7/8 density bins (some very minor modifications from your binning have been made for the sake of simplify).

        It is also ranked by average aereal density per person per 13 major areas.

        It is also ranked by population per 13 major areas. This is for plotting the PDF and CDF.

        Also, I’ve assumed significantly different density/area subdivisions than yours, as a form of sensativity analysis. This shows that your calculations are highly coupled to your 5, 7.5, and 12 square foot per person densities
        (no real surprise there, but this quantifies the weighting). It also shows that gross changes in the low density areas has little effect on the total population (+/- 20% or so, again that is becuse the higher densities are the major contributors).

        Also, I have to disagree with your (5) Front Lawn area boundary, specifically the boundary between (4)/(5), the dividing line if further west than you have shown. Counting trees on the Capitol access walkways is how I determined where the green surrogated plastic bounding fense was actually located (boundaries that the AOC had placed throughout the Capitol lawn areas).

        Finally, (1), (4), (5), and (7) contain ~50% of the entire population (again no surprise there, but this quantifies the areas to concentrate on).

        I could say a lot more, but that’s all for now.

        Peace.

        • deathbymedia said,

          You should tabulate your numbers…

          You are right, I should have, but my indolence got the best of me. The whole thing started with a pen, a paper, and a few brain cells but apparently never took bound outside of such limitations.

          It is also ranked by average aereal density per person per 13 major areas. It is also ranked by population per 13 major areas. This is for plotting the PDF and CDF.”

          Although derived data is usually of certain interest, in this case, it merely serves to pique one’s curiosity. Right off the top of my head, I can think of one benefit such data might present and that is to vet whether the population of each block coherently matches the size and the density disparity assessed for that block. For instance, at one point, when I was crunching numbers for the block (2), I realized the evaluated population exceeded all three front lawns (1, 5, and 7) combined. It had turned out, I was plugging a wrong square footage. A sorted list in a spreadsheet might have caught this right away.

          I’ve assumed significantly different density/area subdivisions than yours, as a form of sensativity analysis.

          I don’t understand how you reached at a different conclusion when it came to drawing density boundaries so I can’t argue for its accuracy or lack thereof.

          Also, I have to disagree with your (5) Front Lawn area boundary, specifically the boundary between (4)/(5), the dividing line if further west than you have shown.”

          I concur. The buffer zone, “on the edges” especially, should be slightly shifted to the west, or toward East Capitol Circle. Block (4)’s geometry is unusual the least to say and I do not understand the philosophy which the organizers undertook to subdivide these areas — it sort of “wings out” as the lines approach the Capitol Hill walkway stone walls. I have even noted to such minute deviation in block (4)’s description. My old map had a more confined boundaries for block 4 so I don’t challenge your astute observation but let you know I’m fully aware of it.

          • I Am Not Right said,

            Like I said I can send you the spreadsheet.

            But very briefly this is what I did;

            Eight density bins: 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, and 320 square feet per person (I have my reasons for doing so, but basically each bin is twice the density of the previouys bin).

            I “stole” 11% or 20% from your 5 density and placed it into 2.5 (for (1), (5), and (7)), otherwise, 7.5 = 10, 12 = 20, 25 = 40, 35 = 80, 45 =160, 60 =320.

            Anyway, doing this I get 85K (low) and 90 (high).

            Going with the 90K, and given that there is no actual aerial imagery, I can only quantify this estimate by a factor of two (for now).

            90K/SQRT(2) ~ 64K

            SQRT(2)*90K ~ 128K

            Finally, I don’t account for in situ ingress/egress (military lingo), the most proper estimate (IMHO) is a “snapshot” at maximum attendence at the start of the afternoon rally (1:00PM to 2:00PM time frame, if I’m not mistaken).

            • I Am Not Right said,

              Just correcting myself.

              45 = 160 above should read 40 =160

              Sorry for any confusion.

            • deathbymedia said,

              To your admission, your spreadsheet does not match my numbers as you have tweaked several of parameters. I’m just wondering in what bases you mapped 2.5 sqft for 11-20% of blocks (1), (5), and (7)? Such confined area is extremely finite for a single person to occupy. That’s as if cramming a well built person into a 1.5ft x 1.7ft area — that’s atrociously suffocating. When I was devising density variables, I marked the floor with a tape, let say, 5 sqft (2ft x 2.5ft) and sought to investigate whether a grown up individual can be confined in this block. Then took notice how close the protesters are standing with respect to every person surrounding him/her. I think you need to gut out a person while cutting his arms from the shoulder to fit him in 2.5 sqft cage.

              Finally, I do not postulate that your numbers are faulty. However, you have to be very careful with high densities, i.e. 160 and 320 sqft, because in many cases, when a picture depicts a group of people standing/sitting around in a frame, although far apart, their distance with respect to other “crowd formation” (multiple people) might fool you to assume such high disparity but when you consider the composition of figures (total number of head counts), the division by the total square footage clearly jumps the density. I was falling for this lapse at first until I actually began estimating the square footage of random areas in the picture, then literally do a head counts and realizing the density is actually, for example, 35 sqft rather than 45 sqft or other times, a 25 sqft became 35 sqft. Did I commit myself to such methodology for every inch of every block? Of course not, that would insane the least to say. My girlfriend would have left me by now and I rather to keep her company. :)

              “I don’t account for in situ ingress/egress (military lingo)…”

              After conversing with number of independent sources, it was brought to my attention that the attendees were streamlining in and out of the rally constantly although the rate picked up significantly as the rally progressed throughout the “afternoon” and “evening”. You have to realize that the majority of the protesters were elderly and middle age folks who might have be needing immediate refueling or prone to other age-related necessities, no pun intended. Therefore, I “presumed” a few thousands at first, then expanded to 15,000 — a rough equivalent of 15% of total protesters. I believe that’s reasonable.

              the most proper estimate (IMHO) is a “snapshot” at maximum attendence at the start of the afternoon rally (1:00PM to 2:00PM time frame, if I’m not mistaken).”

              Excellent observation. I just don’t understand why people are constantly missing that vital point. I have narrowed the time frame to 12:30PM to 1:30PM.

  20. Kelly Hudson said,

    No that was in relation to part of your first post which I misinterpreted. After you posted that I checked the library and your numbers were confirmed there too.

    When I came back home I dl’ed the .pdf from the FEC site and got the jist of it after reading over it.

    As for the picture and photo manipulation. I said right from the get go because the picture just looks.. I’m not sure how to describe it, but the best way would be to just say it looks off.

    Like as if color patterns are being repeated in certain areas along with the pixels. Something along the lines of Iran launching three rockets last year and suddenly finding a way to put the fourth into the image. Though that situation was a bit more blatant and easy to see.

  21. I Am Not Right said,

    deathbymedia,

    I can’t see a reply button for your previous reply to me about defining map labeling.

    The short answer to all you said?

    True North!

    Most navigators understand this implicitly.

    There is only one True North.

    Not much one can screw up when one uses an INTERNATIONAL STANDARD!

    In fact, your diagrams are straight out of Google Earth, top is north, bottom is south, left is west, and right is east.

    Now if you want to talk about wind or wave direction, that’s a different sign convention, from which direction is the wind or wave is coming from, not which direction is the wind or wave traveling to. Straight forward (at least if you’ve been doing these things for 35+ years, like I have). BTW, I’m a coastal engineer by profession.

    • deathbymedia said,

      *sigh*

      Of course if you take the general navigational direction, the North is… well North. As I have said several times, I’m taking a referential point for ease of labeling. I don’t want to discuss this issue any further.

      “BTW, I’m a coastal engineer by profession.”

      Congratulations, I respect your profession and expertise. However, that very fact does not make you neither right nor wrong in the sense of contextual explanation I have put forth ad nauseam. The whole point of this study (if you dare to call it so) was crowd estimation, not adhering to an “international standard.”

  22. I Am Not Right said,

    deathbymedia,

    Again I can’t reply directly to your last post (RE: 2.5 square feet per person, etceteras).

    1) Anthropometrics. Data from the NIH. Body aspect ratio two-to-one (width-to-depth). Several other references suggested that 2.5 square feet per person is not unreasonable at all if the crowd is virtually touching one another and have similar orientation (e. g. all facing front).

    2) Length scale ~ SQRT(Area)

    3) Me, male, 74″ tall, 225 lbs, and broad sholdered, Size 12 foot ~ 12″ depth, shoulder width ~ 22″, so back-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder my footprint is ~ 1.8 square feet.

    4) 2009 Inauguration ticketed areas average density of standing portion was, believe it or not, ~2.4 square feet per person. This assumes that 240K people were in the ticketed areas, GeoEye imagery used, ~ 30.5K people were seated, the rest were standing in a total area of only ~ 510,000 square feet.

    5) Imagery of the front of the crowds from 912DC in (1), (5), and (7).

    6) Total population within 2.5 square feet per person = 10% (high estimate) and = 6% (low estimate), total area contribution (based on ~ 1,000,000 square foot total area) for this 2.5 density was 2.2% (high estimate) and 1.2% (low estimate).

    7) Binning is proportional to the length scale not the area scale, so each bin I used was SQRT(2) larger then the previous bin. In your binning selection, for example, you have a 35 and 40 bin, these two bins are virtually indistinguishable (SQRT(35/40) ~ 0.94). .

    8) Even using the 2.5 square foot per person density, and bin shifting, I end up with a crowd estimate ~ 10% lower then your estimate (90K versus 100K).

    9) After carefully looking at the PDF’s for population and area contributions, the 160 and 320 bins, contribute only 13% to the total area and 0.7% to the total population.

    10) There is no unique set of bin and area subdivisions, as an infinite number of permutations exist which will yield the exact same sums (e. g. different area and density PDF’s that integrate to the same total area and total population). In other words, the shape of the PDF’s are not a priori unique. This should be obvious

    11) Note that PDF is probability density function, CDF is cumulative density function (integral of PDF).. These are theoretically continuous functions and there are a whole host of these to choose from, for example, see;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_probability_distributions

    • Kelly Hudson said,

      Couple of times I couldnt see the reply button either. Then it would just come back eventually. Odd problem..

      • deathbymedia said,

        Welcome to the world of popular CMS.

    • deathbymedia said,

      One wrong key and my entire reply was wiped out. *sigh* Starting over.

      “1) Anthropometrics. Data from the NIH. Body aspect ratio two-to-one (width-to-depth).”

      I would have guessed it’s more close to three-to-two ratio (width-to-depth)!

      Several other references suggested that 2.5 square feet per person is not unreasonable at all if the crowd is virtually touching one another and have similar orientation.”

      Actually, and I hate to admit to this, you might be right about your assertion. 2.7-3 sqft does sound reasonable which means… a painful faith is awaiting me — the recalculation of the entire work (argh!). However, I would like to maintain the 7.5 and 12 sqft throughout which I’m sure it’ll jump the final tally to certain extend.

      3) Me, male, 74″ tall, 225 lbs, and broad sholdered, Size 12 foot ~ 12″ depth, shoulder width ~ 22″, so back-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder my footprint is ~ 1.8 square feet.”

      The 1.8 sqft is not a number I’m comfortable with to consider, especially when we are estimating densities in the middle of the “crowd.” I’m 6′, 165 lbs, not svelte but an average size. The way I would estimate the area/person is to place myself in the center and surround myself with 8 of “me” while encompassing each of me with a visible thread (9 individuals in total). I wouldn’t say I stand back-to-back to each person but the total area comes out somewhere around 26-29 sqft or 3 sqft/person. If you are in a first few rows of some punk show, maybe, but not with this crowd (old and conservative). 1.8 sqft clearly upsets a lot of these people.

      2009 Inauguration ticketed areas average density of standing portion was, believe it or not, ~2.4 square feet per person.”

      I don’t dispute that figure. I’ve seen photos of crowd on East Capitol Circle/Grant Memorial, and specially the ones between the Reflecting Pool and 3rd St.; they were basically sardined.

      5) Imagery of the front of the crowds from 912DC in (1), (5), and (7).”

      I see, then it depends what portion of these blocks you are going to mark with 2.5 sqft density.

      6) Total population within 2.5 square feet per person = 10% (high estimate) and = 6% (low estimate)…”

      I don’t know the total contribution, but I would designate 25%, minimum, to block (5), and 20%, or less, to (1) and (7).

      7) Binning is proportional to the length scale not the area scale, so each bin I used was SQRT(2) larger then the previous bin.”

      I was just merely saying, when the density is estimated in an area that the crowd are sporadically dispersed, the projections are unintentionally skewed.

      you have a 35 and 40 bin, these two bins are virtually indistinguishable.”

      I believe I only used the 40 sqft density in one or two occasions but you are right, they are not a game changer. Spurious parameters.

      Even using the 2.5 square foot per person density, and bin shifting, I end up with a crowd estimate ~ 10% lower then your estimate (90K versus 100K).”

      Interesting. Does the 90k include the crowd ingress/egress into the account? I augmented 15,000 (~15%) to the final tally.

      9) After carefully looking at the PDF’s for population and area contributions, the 160 and 320 bins, contribute only 13% to the total area and 0.7% to the total population.”

      Are you trying to create a statistical model? Not that there is anything wrong with that endeavor except that the whole point of this post was to merely quantify the random space and frequencies. The random variables and mapped distribution is, I suppose, a bonus.

      After two weeks of collecting resources and crunching numbers, which by the way took place a month ago, I don’t have a motivational spirit to take a whack at this again. Knowing full well that the total viewership per day doesn’t exceed single digit also strengthens my reluctance. :) I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.

      • I Am Not Right said,

        deathbymedia,

        I’m also a little bit tired of discussing this. Also a bit busy at the moment, I need to be somewhere in an hour or so, so this will be kind of brief.

        But yes, I’m in the process of fitting one or more statistical distributions to this rally, but much more importantly to the Inaugurations of 1965 and 2009.

        I’m not trying to create additional work for you, your current analysis is just fine, very good in fact.

        One more link, the Rayleigh distribution, an oft used distribution for deep water wave heights and their corresponding forces for design of ships and offshore structures;

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_distribution

        Have to go now, but I’ll post a follow up, using this continuous distribution, with the caveat that this is curve fitting, and that the actual distribution is not known a priori, but is just an assumption used for testing purposes.

        • deathbymedia said,

          It’s been a while since days of school, but I just wanted to add, even though I was neither an engineer or a mathematics major, when you take low-level probability courses, they usually never pass the theoretical aspect of probability & statistics to introduce the applied side of the field. Rayleigh distribution actually is very intuitive to this very case (crowd estimation/density), not that I would like get involved.

          I redrew the related density maps and recalculated (hopefully accurately) all the needed blocks which not surprisingly jumped the total tally by 20,000.

          • I Am Not Right said,

            I added your new numbers to my spreadsheet and found a couple of small miscues in your new numbers;

            (5) Both min/max fractions sum to 5/4, divide by 5 instead of 4?

            (8) Fraction sums to 1.05, changing 5.9/20 to 4.9/20 gives fraction of one?

            Otherwise everything looks just fine, totals drop a bit (~4K).

            Note, that current population PDF and previous population PDF are;

            2.5, 5, 7.5, 12, 25, 35, 40, and 60

            33.7%, 19.2%, 27.1%, 11.4%, 3.4%, 0.2%, 2.7%, and 2.2%

            0%, 45.3%, 35.7%, 9.9%, 3.7%, 0.2%, 2.9%, and 2.3%

            As I suggested in an earlier post major changes in the redistribution of density contributions to different bins produces +/- 20% changes in total population.

            Thus, the strength of your analysis, pretty much disproves population estimates of 200K to 2M put out by 912DC groups.

            Also, the Rayleigh distribution (applied to the area PDF with square feet per person on the x-axis) was not as flexable as I would of liked. The area and population PDF’s are coupled, of course, and to my surprise, the population PDF turned out to be the Gamma distribution (used EasyFit 5.1 (30-day demo) which confirmed my visual inspection)

            So now I’m off to using the much more common normal distribution (normal/shifted, folded, and truncated), as well as the Beta, the chi (normal and noncentral), the Gamma, and the Kumaraswamy.

            Finally, I’m going to cry uncle WRT this discussion, if you don’t mind.

            You’ve done an excellent job, and are to be congratulated on all your efforts.

            Peace.

            • deathbymedia said,

              You sure about block (5) calculation? I noticed that the 12 sqft density fraction had a frequency of “1/8″ which obviously if you mistakenly took it as “1/4,” then yes, it would make the fraction sum 5 rather than 4. But the frequency is “1/8″ which leaves the total sum to 5 (1 + 1.8 + 1.7 + 0.5) but anyway, I switched to a more human readable format of “1/4.” The min, however, needed some tweaking which I made the necessary corrections. Same with block (8); drop 5.9 to 4.9. This is what happens when you do everything late on Sunday night.

              P.S. Who is uncle WRT? Thanks for the complement though.

      • Kelly Hudson said,

        Are you serious? About those coming to view the page I mean.

        Id think more people would find it of interest due to the amount of effort your putting into all the data crunching. As well as description of methods used.

        • deathbymedia said,

          That is to be expected. If there is a 200 page detailed research of a subject matter, no one except the interested experts would be willing to read the document (not implying this blog certifies of any serious expert qualification of any sort). American “partisan” politics is the worst that the blogsphere offers — void of any rational discourse. The majority of people are simply willing to hear what their anecdotal “feelings” are inclined to mindlessly embrace. So yes, yesterday this page had a whopping 14 hits, 9 today. I didn’t start this to be a attention seeker.

  23. I Am Not Right said,

    deathbymedia,

    Again, I can’t reply directly to your last post.

    RE: (5) Front Lawn

    Rev. 3
    The front boundary of block (5) was altered to reflect a more accurate geometric size of the area (winged out on the edges where it meets the walkway stonewalls), hence a slight increase in dimension to 125,000 sqft.

    1/4 × 125000/2.5 ~ 12,500
    1.8/4 × 125000/5 ~ 11,250
    1.7/4 × 125000/7.5 ~ 7,100
    0.5/4 × 125000/12 ~ 1,300

    Max total ~ 32,150

    0.9/4 × 125000/2.5 ~ 11,250
    1.4/4 × 125000/5 ~ 8,750
    1.6/4 × 125000/7.5 ~ 6,650
    1.1/4 × 125000/12 ~ 2,850

    Min total ~ 29,500

    All denominators are 4th’s.

    Sum of numerators for Max are 1 + 1.8 + 1.7 + 0.5 = 5

    Similarly, sum of numerators for Min are 0.9 + 1.4 + 1.6 + 1.1 = 5

    Thus, both fractions sum to 5/4 and not one, as it should be, thus my suggestion for changing the denominator to 5 to obtain unity for the total fractions in section (5).

    In all other sections all fractrions sum to one, including (8) once you changed 5.9 to 4.9. Unless I’m missing something fractions from all sections should always sum to one.

    I hope that I’ve been as clear as necessary, and I’m sorry if there is still some confusion at my end.

    Cry uncle is a saying for giving up;

    http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/cry+uncle

    I’m saying that you’ve done an excellent job of dissecting the numbers, and that there is no compelling reason for further dissections, as these are not likely to produce significantly different totals.

    All I could add now would be an overly detailed technical discussion on assumed PDF’s, or curve fitting if you prefer, which I think is well beyond the scope of your current analysis/efforts.

    Regardless, your work has spurred me on, since in previous efforts I had used square feet per person for the x-axis of population PDF’s, when people per square feet appears to be the correct scale for the x-axis for the purposes of population PDF curve fitting.

    • deathbymedia said,

      Again, I can’t reply directly to your last post.”

      I believe that’s due to WordPress blogging system’s imposing limitation where it only allows certain degree of nesting for comments. I can adjust it to (max) 10 but since the theme is narrow itself, any nested tree of more than 6 would make it unreadable.

      Stupefying brain fart! What can I say. Total cerebral blockage. Last week a grandparent of my passed away, parents abroad, and for some strange reason, I’m being bombarded by phone calls at nights from relatives whom I’ve never even heard before. And all are converging their condolences at my resident solely for the purpose of me relaying them back to my parental unit — I feel like I need to create a spreadsheet just to keep up who’s made a contact. When people call from Europe at 4 AM or opposite coast at 2 in the morning assuming somebody is so tenderly awaiting their call, I question their sensibility and levelheadedness; then I commit an equivalent error albeit in my grade school mathematics. I shouldn’t have made such a sloppy error twice in a row which really puts me other evaluations under question.

      I hope that I’ve been as clear as necessary, and I’m sorry if there is still some confusion at my end.”

      Yes, you have, even to the point of spoon feeding me. I just need to clear my head for a while. You know things are bad when you decide to make a tea but only manage to merely boil a water then pace back and forth in the kitchen wondering why the liquid is not dark enough.

      Cry uncle is a saying for giving up…”

      Hah, I know what it means, I was just referring to what the abbreviation “WRT” stands for.

      • wm25burke said,

        >> I shouldn’t have made such a sloppy error

        Hey, it happens. It reflects positively upon the nature of your character that you own up to it and move on. Thanks!

        And (another entry for the spreadsheet) condolences on the loss of your grandparent.

        =Bill

        • deathbymedia said,

          Thanks, everyone was pretty much expecting this impending event; she was sick to the bone.

          Everyone makes a mistake, in my case more than a few. You just have to learn from them.

          • Kelly Hudson said,

            I know I’m a bit late here but I only just now read everything since my last visit.

            just wanted to offer my deepest sympathy in regard to your loss.

            • deathbymedia said,

              Although it’s been a few months, I appreciate your concern.

      • I Am Not Right said,

        Well then condolences are in order with respect to (WRT) your grandparent.
        :(

        • deathbymedia said,

          Thank you.

          Upon reassessing several of photos, I realized my density maps for blocks (2), (6), and (8) contain a concentration of larger areas for high densities than they should — subsequently redrawn. Without inclusion of ingress/egress assumptions [of 15k/10k max/min], the final figure is about 110k-115k which is closer to your estimate.

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