Thursday, March 10, 2011

Video and Numbers: March 1, 2011

Thanks to Aramazd for putting together this video of the March 1, 2011 demonstration.

This video actually reawakened my every-lurking interest in how many people were actually at the demonstration. One of the first reports I saw was "over 10,000" from Ditord, I think. The police figured was obviously below that. LTP at the demonstration reported 50,000. Since then there have been numerous other reports, including Reuters which echoed the over 10k figure. I heard 35k from one friend. Another friend noted that he didn't think 50k was quite right, until he saw the endless stream of people descending from the Matenadaran.

I got an even more useful tidbit from another friend, who said that she had a friend call her when people got to the Myasnikyan statue, and at that time, she was at the tail end of the march, at Opera. So once again I turned to the calculations of Herbert Jacobs for crowd counting, according to whom, in a medium packed crowd, one person takes up 4.5 square feet, which is .41806368 sq meters.

Now, let me stop here and point out that there are a lot of assumptions in the calculations I'm about to make. In some places in the march, people are very tightly packed, in some places loosely, so I went with the middle number

Also, from looking at the videos and pictures, I'm assuming a wideth of march of 10-20 people, let's say on average its a march of 15 people wide.

And, according to google maps, the furthest edge of Opera (furthest from Matenadaran) to just near the Myasnikyan Statue, is 1.6 km - here is where I got that calculation from:
But with those assumptions in mind, we get the following calculations - I'll assume a 15 person wide march, and put the calculations for 10 and 20 person wide marches in parentheses, using average density of humans per sq feet for the calculation:

0.418063 meter sq = 0.6465784m on each side of the theoretical square

0.6465784m x 1.6 m = 9.698676m wide march
(for 10 people: 6.4657, 20pp: 12.9315688)

9.698676m wide x 1.6 km long (which is 1600m) = 15,517.8816 meters sq
(10pp: 10,345 msq, for 20 pp: 20,690 msq)

15,517.8816 msq / .41806368 msq per person = 37,118.52 people in the march
(10pp: 24,745 people, 20pp: 49,490 people)

I would love to know if there is an error in my calculations, assumptions, or data that I've been given. This is the best, most objective way I know of to try to calculate numbers, aside from actual aerial photos.

And for those of you out there who can get data like that above (length, width of march) or aerial photos, please, the more data the better!


Observer said...

interesting calculations... and even though this puts to wrong my estimate of over 10,000 I'll be willing to consider it...

i have this gut feeling, however, that something's not quite right... maybe its just my subjectivity?

tzitzernak2 said...

I think the numbers at Matenadaran may have been different than the final numbers in the March. True or not, I've heard mutiple people make the observation that a large proportion of people seem to wait until the march to join it. What do you think?

Like I said, there are a lot of assumptions in the calculations I put up there. That's exactly why I've been trying to get people to get hard data, so the calculations can be more accurate, or rather, as accurate as possible ;) as they are always just estimates and subject to interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, people join the march when it hits the streets after listening to LTP pontificate for the umpteenth time. He likes to talk "over" people's heads like some sort of pipe-smoking colege professor. The HAK really needs to get some young people up on the stage with new ideas on how to get the masses mobilized and active. The people know what problems and challenges they are facing. They don't need LTP and the rest to go on for hours repeating the same tired slogans and rhetoric. Strategy needs to be tweaked.

Chello Aghpar