Fulbright in Portugal

Steve Doig in Lisbon August-December 2010

Lisbon skyline

Crowd counting (wrapup)

I was amazed and fascinated by all the attention (positive and otherwise) received by my part in estimating for CBS News the size of the crowd at Glenn Beck’s rally Saturday in Washington. My post on that is here. Many have asked to see the Airphotoslive.com images we used in making those estimates. CBS News, which paid for the images, has done a story about the process we used. And many of you will be interested to examine the images in more detail now that CBS News has released them.

To answer a common question for a final time, the images were shot around noon, at the height of the rally. To those of you who were there and believe that the entire crowd area was as packed as wherever you were standing, please note the patches of green and even wide-open areas in parts of the crowd area.

I have spent much of the past three days moderating the many comments I received and trying to answer questions. But I am here in Lisbon to do other things, so it’s time for me to move on. Feel free, of course, to continue to debate this out in the blogosphere; I’m closing out the discussion here. Thanks again for your interest.

[UPDATE: NPR’s “On the Media” program did a nice 8-minute segment Saturday, September 4, on the difficulties of crowd-counting. And here’s a smart op-ed piece that ran in the Los Angeles Times on September 7, written by internationally-known ASU scientist Lawrence Krauss. And in early October I was interviewed about crowd counting by France Info, the country’s national public radio network; their story is here.]

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