Crowd estimating is a technique used to count or estimate the number of people in a crowd. For many events, especially political rallies or protests, the number of people in a crowd carries political value and count results are usually controversial. Many people in Malta assign quite a lot of significance to the size of the crowd at political rallies with both sides arguing that their particular party had more people than their rivals.
In reality, the size of the crowd itself is not that important, considering that nowadays political manifestations and mass meetings are televised, therefore even some of the diehard political activists might opt to stay at home and watch everything from their living room, whilst others opt to follow events on social media.
However it is safe to say that political parties do count their crowds to gauge interest. The most common technique for counting crowds at protests and rallies is Jacobs’s Method, named for its inventor, Herbert Jacobs.
Jacobs method involves dividing the area occupied by a crowd into sections, determining an average number of people in each section, and multiplying by the number of sections occupied.
Technology is sometimes used to assist such estimations including aerial photography and recorded video footage.
The truth is that the Labour party will claim it had more people than the opposition, the Nationalist party will claim it had more people and as usual both will fail to agree and the followers of both parties will continue to argue about these trivial matters until the next mass rally or meeting.
In reality what matters is the message delivered by both party leaders and what matters most is finally the vote casted in the ballot box on election day.
Having said that, firstmalta will nevertheless be analysing footage and videos taken today and will soon be publishing crowd counting results using Jacobs’ method