There was a good bit of controversy over who’s inauguration crowd was bigger, Trump’s or Obama’s. We can decide this question for ourselves with the CrowdSize application and photographs of the events.
But, before we do our study we need to sift through another controversy surrounding photographs of the Trump crowd on the day of the inauguration. The crowd that day extended from the podium at the Capital steps into the national mall. The first photograph below shows the crowd from behind the podium. But the second and third images show two views of the crowd on the mall. One shows the mall partially occupied. It looks like this was taken before the event started. The third image shows the mall fully occupied. This was taken at the time of the event. What is interesting is what appears to be a white, temporary building just to the west of 12th Street that runs across the mall. I don’t know why this building was there, probably for “security” reasons, but it certainly did limit the crowd’s ability to extend to the Washington Monument. We are going to use the image of the Trump crowd at the time of the event which extended from 12th Street to the podium for this study.
When we compare the images for the Trump inauguration crowd, during the event, with the crowd during Obama’s inauguration, we can see that the white temporary building defines the west end of the Trump crowd, while there is no building there for the Obama crowd. The CrowdSize study for the Trump crowd both directly in front of the podium and into the mall is below. We come up with a crowd size of approximately 820,000 people.
The Obama crowd in 2009 extended from the Capital steps to around the Washington Monument and on to the area around the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Obama’s crowd was definitely larger than the one for Trump. The satellite images I found for the Obama inauguration show areas of people clustered together that were probably centered around large video screens showing the action on the podium.
Google indicated that there were 1.8 million people in the Obama crowd. When we outline the crowd shown in the aerial images and include the same number of people at the podium that Trump had, we come up with approximately 1.5 million people.
Although this kind of study is an interesting part of the media reports for the inaugurations, I think we can all agree now that there are more important national issues to deal with. However, the CrowdSize application, along with pictures of the events on the internet, gives us the power to check media reports and decide for ourselves how popular the causes that bring us together really are.