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More Information About Crowd Size

Satellite image taken at 11:19 a.m. from above the Mall. (GeoEye Satellite Image)

Our analysis of a satellite image shows about 1 million people were on the Mall 45 minutes before President Barack Obama took the oath of office.

Security officials earlier estimated that 1.8 million people attended the inaugural events, a number that included those on the parade route.

You can see the satellite image for yourself on this page. Click and drag to pan around the image. Use the buttons below the image or your scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out. See a spot you're curious about? Double-click to zoom in even more.

By Amy L. Kovac  |  January 20, 2009; 8:33 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Post Coverage , Swearing-in Ceremony
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That probably doesn't include all those people who got stuck in metro stations, check points, gridlocked traffic and buses that never made it. I feel so sorry for those people who came a long way only to be stopped because of poor planning on the part of officials.

Posted by: barbnc | January 20, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting the satellite image, although having stood to the left of the Washington Monument for the entire ceremony, I would like to point out that the crowd size grew up to and during the ceremony.

I was standing out on the left side of the Monument by the jumbotron--starting around 10 am--but from my own images I shot as I was leaving--during the poem recitation---it appears that the entire hill around the monument was covered with people.

Do you have other images taken later during the day?

Posted by: deziginer | January 20, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

No matter how well everything was planned at some point the transportation systems in place max out. It probably could've been alleviated somewhat, but at some point all the planning in the world can't make up for overwhelming and crushing crowds.

Posted by: Balt-o-Matt | January 20, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Dept of Parks will be releasing a photo made at 12:01 that they will use to make an estimate .

For all of those whiners, DC was designed to handle routine federal business. Anyone that didn't "make it" to where they wanted to can only fault themselves for not getting there early enough.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | January 20, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The Post will soon be called a "hater" for only coming up with a million estimate, just as the Park Service was vilified after the "million" man march.

Posted by: merganser | January 20, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

ImpeachObama, you are wrong on both counts: a) getting there early enough did not insure that ticket holders were actually allowed to attend the swearing-in ceremony; and b) I assure you, DC was "designed" to do more than handle routine federal business. There were real failures in crowd control and planning today, and many of those failures were forseeable. The inauguration planners and DC police would do well to review their performance today and learn from their mistakes.

Posted by: why1201 | January 20, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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