Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration - from above and from below

These two timely projects are examples of quantitative and qualitative aspects of yesterday's event and records of a significant turning moment in time.

In the project by GeoEye a high resolution image of Washington D.C at 11:19 a.m. January 20, 2009 is collected from above by satellites "at 41 centimeter ground resolution" as stated by Mark Brender from GeoEye to mathematically calculate the numbers of people present at the event. Steve Doig, a journalism professor who specializes in crowd counting said; "It's actually fairly simple math, getting the square footage and dividing that by some number of feet per person".

See cnet news article Satellites, balloons, and math used to count inauguration crowd at cnet news

In the project Picturing the Inauguration by the New York Times a multitude of qualitative moments (photos of individuals) globally are submitted composing a vivid, textured matrix of events big and small, intimate and collective of this transformative moment in time. As a collective from below mapping, you may contribute to its making by submitting your own photo to

See New York Times Picturing the Inauguration: The Readers’ AlbumJanuary 18, 2009 at

What is the potential of combining these two types of data?

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