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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GeoEye Is Watching

Posted by on Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM

The throng:
via the world's highest-res satellite. Can anyone explain the funny shapes and gaps? (full image here)


Comments (21) RSS

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A commenter there explains that the photo is from 9:30, not 11:30, which explains the gaps, and that the strange shapes are people clustering around the Jumbotrons.
Posted by Fnarf on January 20, 2009 at 6:14 PM · Report this
i'd imagine the shapes have to do with where you could see the jumbotrons and hear best.
Posted by ingopixel on January 20, 2009 at 6:20 PM · Report this
Fnarf is correct. They are grouped around the Jumbotrons
Posted by b on January 20, 2009 at 6:21 PM · Report this
Humans are more like ants than anyone is willing to admit.
Posted by Kamala on January 20, 2009 at 6:32 PM · Report this
I'm just posting here so I can type Jumbotron.

There, that was fun.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey on January 20, 2009 at 6:40 PM · Report this
pretty sure these are from around 11:30. the commenter on that page is wrong. based on the shadows in the photos, the sun is in the south-southeast, creating shadows pointing almost directly north, which is where the sun would be at close to noon at this time of year. also, the inner circles of chairs at the inaugural podium are filled. they wouldn't have been at 9:30.

i can't explain all the gaps -- maybe there simply weren't as many people as there seemed to be from the Capitol Building camera angle.
Posted by Judith on January 20, 2009 at 6:42 PM · Report this
There were huge magnets placed in strategic places by the Chinese on the other side of the planet who of course Hate America for our bad food and big feet. The magnets were turned on at about 9:30 am Eastern time and the crowds began to move accordingly.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 20, 2009 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Posted by DOUG. on January 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM · Report this
Posted by yucca flower on January 20, 2009 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Would you people stop calling them "Jumbotrons". Sony stopped making those around 2001. You sound like my dad.
Posted by Porkchop Sandwiches! on January 20, 2009 at 7:48 PM · Report this
The photo is not from 9:30. The dignitary stand is full of people, and they weren't seated until around 11:00. And despite the gaps visible from above, this is the photo CNN used to estimate the crowd at two million.
Posted by Mason on January 20, 2009 at 7:58 PM · Report this
Porkchop, when Johnson & Johnson goes bankrupt next year, will you stop calling them Bandaids?
Posted by ho' know on January 20, 2009 at 7:58 PM · Report this
Adhesive strips!
Posted by Porkchop Sandwiches! on January 20, 2009 at 8:02 PM · Report this
JumboTron JumboTron JumboTron JumboTron JUMBOtron JUMBOtron jumboTRON jumboTRON I love's me a big ol' JUMBOTRON J-U-M-B-O-T-R-O-N JumboTRRROOOOON jUMBOtRON fucking awesome JUMBOTRON.
Posted by Porkchop's Dad on January 20, 2009 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Have it your way, dad. You live in your cathode ray world and I'll move on to LED!! I think this thread is officially dead. Time to go to Broadway and Pike.
Posted by Porkchop Sandwiches! on January 20, 2009 at 8:49 PM · Report this
in honor of the no-longer-in-the-PI Zippy the Pinhead:


Am I president yet?
Posted by gcm on January 20, 2009 at 8:52 PM · Report this
Who the fuck is Jesse Vernon?
Posted by Matthew on January 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM · Report this
It's like 'Xerox machine', a trademark that has leaked into common use, much to the chagrin of lawyers and brand owners.

A JumboTron is a large-screen television using technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up shots of the event. Although JumboTron is a registered trademark owned by the Sony Corporation, the word jumbotron is often used by the public as a genericized trademark. Sony JumboTrons ceased being sold in 2001, when the company decided to exit the business.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on January 21, 2009 at 3:11 AM · Report this
I suspect the gaps - even at 9:30am - are driven by two factors:

1) Topography (where people can get high and have a nice view)

2) Jumbotron viewsheds

Posted by 2cents on January 21, 2009 at 8:49 AM · Report this
@17 I am the copy editor. Who the fuck are you, Matthew?
Posted by Jesse Vernon on January 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM · Report this
@4, I thought the same thing. In fact, it reminded me of what Harry Lime tells Holly Martins as they view the Viennese crowd from the top of the ferris wheel in The Third Man:

"You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?"

Hmm, I might need to watch that movie again to take the edge off my hope and optimism.
Posted by Luke on January 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM · Report this

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