Main | Thursday, March 06, 2014

Super Cool WTC Interactive Panorama

TIME Magazine has posted a ridiculously cool interactive panorama photo taken from above the World Trade Center. Using your cursor and the on-screen controls, you can spin around in all directions and zoom in on midtown, Brooklyn, New Jersey, even the Statue of Liberty. I'm finding it works best on Chrome so far. There goes the next hour of your evening.

Here's how they did it.
Time said it got exclusive access to the tower's spire from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site. It took eight months to design and construct a 13-foot rotating arm to which a camera with a 100-millimeter lens was mounted, the magazine said on its website. It worked on the project with Portland, Ore.-based GigaPan Systems, mechanical engineers and welders. "Over a five-hour span of orbital shooting on Sept. 28, 2013, the camera produced 567 pictures that were then stitched together digitally into a single massive — and zoomable — image of everything the eye can see in all directions," according to the website. According to GigaPan, its panoramic photography equipment is based on the same technology employed by NASA's Mars rovers to capture the images of the red planet. The panoramic image also is featured as a wrap-around cover of Time's issue hitting newsstand Friday. The issue includes an article about the 12-year construction of the building, formerly called the Freedom Tower.

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