The Inauguration – Digital Style

By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

obamaSince the last national swearing-in ceremony, America has become a much more net-centric country.  Obama’s inauguration was not only watched by a large portion of the US, but by millions (perhaps billions?) in countries all over the world.  For this reason, the people on the scene wielding the tech were extremely important.  Personally, I watched the ceremonies from my TV and updated on the #inaug09 Twitter hash code.  Many others used the CNN/Facebook mashup for combined viewing and status updating.  

There were lots of other ways people shared their inaugural experience.  Pictures were an obvious favorite.  Here is a one [via Gizmodo] of Malia Obama capturing her father during his stupendous speech.


Here is another showing off Aretha Frankin’s explosive hat!  Among all the other guests, mostly bundled up and wearing dark colors, that hat made her hard to miss!  Even the military person in the background  (not sure what branch) seems to be capturing it for himself.


And who needs snapshots when you have a satellite?  Google’s GeoEye was stationed above the inaugural festivities to record the huge mass of onlookers.  The first image here is of the solid crowd in front of the capital building (where the swearing-in took place).

inauguration1Full sized image visible here

This second image is of the huge crowds that packed the center of the National Mall.  This image probably wasn’t taken at the height of the activities, but it give you a good idea for the numbers in attendance (there were people standing as far away as twice the length of this image – at the Lincoln Memorial).

inauguration2Full sized image visible here

The last bit of tech is a little more advanced.  Microsoft’s Photosynth has gotten some press in recent months, but this is probably its biggest debut yet.  CNN asked everyone attending the inauguration to send in their photos of Obama being sworn in.  The images were then thrown together into one coherent image by Photosynth, which makes murals from random photos of a single place.  Gizmodo has some good coverage of the CNN project.

Oh and take a look at the before/after images of the White House website…just for fun.

[First image by Pete Souza on Flickr | Satellite images from GeoEye]