Every now and then, often connected to politically contentious events like the “Restoring Honor” or “Rally to Restore Sanity” in 2010 or Egyptians taking to the streets in early 2011, you will see articles about how officials and media sources estimate the number of people who attend. Here is a primer on crowd counting. Some of the possible new methods could help give us accurate and not politically-driven counts:
And, as Yip said in a statement about his study, a good way to count crowds could cut through the politically motivated stats we put up with now. “In the absence of any accurate estimation methods, the public are left with a view of the truth colored by the beliefs of the people making the estimates. The public would be better served by estimates less open to political bias.”
I look forward to improved crowd counting.