Satellite image of inauguration

This is a half-meter resolution image of the US Capitol and National Mall taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite this morning during President Obama's inauguration. That sure is a lot of people. 2009 Inaugural Celebration. Washington D.C. National Mall (Thanks, Jess Hemerly!)


  1. That’s a very tiny portion of the crowd. That’s the seated area mostly the seated area. It doesn’t show the mass of people on the mall back to the Washington monument and beyond.

    Here’s a map of the area for comparison.

  2. @drivers99 – the high res version shows them all the way to the Washington monument. Unfortunately the image is rather low resolution so it really just looks like there are a bunch of mounds of dirt all over the place. :)

    On a side note, I had no idea the roof of the capitol was blue.

  3. Is this the same place they held the “million” man march? I wonder how those photos would compare.

  4. what did they do with all the sniper posts and other security positions,? they appear to be absent or different. Even the top secret burst transmitter antenna are missing.

  5. Kind of neat that in the original image, just below the Washington Monument, another satellite is passing by. Cute.

  6. Was anyone able to download the complete highres version from geoeye? Whenever I tried I just got a small part of the lower left of the main image.

  7. The CNN image linked in #9 really makes me want a circle of numbers (1-12), each 50′ tall, placed around the Washington Monument, on rooftops, the ground, wherever.

    A sundial you read from space!

  8. @13: Copper schmopper – My guess is that the white house hasn’t been redecorated since the Truman administration.

  9. #15 It hasn’t. But that’s the Capitol building :P

    First thing I said was: HEY the Capitol building is BLUE!

  10. CNN kept going to this all day on a big touchscreen monitor. It got annoying, like somebody who won’t shut up about their new iPhone.

  11. thats a pretty sick picture. a bunch of my friends got to go to that but i didnt sign up in time!

  12. Wow, they DO all look like ants from up here. No wonder aliens tend to use “puny humans” when issuing demands in the movies.

  13. i was also surprised to see the blue roof – it also looked like a swimming pool complex at first glance.

    kinda crazy how SKY/CNN seemed to just go on and on and on and on …

    anyway, good luck to obama – lets hope things go a bit better

  14. For comparison purposes follow this link (and click on full size image) to another huge gathering on the National Mall in October 1997. Though there is no portion of the crowd between the west front of the capital and the capital reflecting pool, the crowd on the rest of the mall is actually more densely packed than in the inaguration photo, so I’d say the crowd size is quite comparable. TD-Atlanta

  15. Anyone know when that was taken? I’d guess around 9-10ish – I was there and I know there were a lot more people near the lincoln memorial and reflecting pool later in the morning.

  16. Google ‘satellite image inaguration’. The first link that comes up lists the time of the image as 11:19 a.m. 1/20/09 so I would expect by that time it is a fair representation of the total crowd. TD- Atlanta

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