Tuesday, January 27, 2009

«Satellite Images of the Inauguration»

You may or may not have seen this image already. It's Washington DC 41 minutes before Obama was officially sworn in. Ever wounder what 1.8 million people looks like from space?
Satellite image of Washington DC on the day of Obama's Inauguration

Click image for larger version. (Not quite full-sized, see below.)

They look like swarms of ants or bees. They're in groups like that because they are in front of the JumboTrons (very large TVs) spread down the National Mall.

You know what's amazing? There were at least 1.8 million people there, and no-one did anything stupid enough to get arrested. Just... Wow. I'm impressed.

The newly-launched (on September 6th, 2008) GeoEye-1 satellite was over DC January 20th. This satellite is owned by GeoEye, the same company that provides imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.

Now, you might notice that I usually have the text "Click image to view full" under images I have sized-down for the blog. Well, this time if you click the image above you'll get medium-size (2560x2650 px), not full. The full-size is really big. But if you must see it, here it is:

Full Sized Satellite Image of Obama's Inauguration
Caution: the image is very large at 7816x8091 px, 51.5 MB in size. I recommend right-clicking the link and selecting "save as...", as well as a fast internet connection. (I'm putting my GoDaddy hosting to work now.)

For ground-view images, has a great page: The Inauguration of President Barack Obama


  1. Incredible picture. At first I was dissapointed and wondered where all the people where. Then I saw the little dots but they were all clustered in a few blobs. Didnt look much for a 1.8 million people. But then I realised how tiny each dot was and boy there are sure a lot of them.

  2. @ Bunc: Yeah, I was thinking about also having a cropped version of just the National Mall so they're easier to find.

    But, enough sites already have that. Not too many provide the entire satellite image like this.


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