The destruction of the Twin Towers left a gaping hole in New York. What would fill that void, known as Ground Zero, has created a lot of passion and interest over the years, following the tragedy of 9/11. In the end, however, it was decided upon that a symbol was needed to serve as a signal to the terrorists and a sign of hope for Americans. That led to the planning and construction of the 1,776-square-foot building that took over 12 years to develop and is finally nearing completion. A unique experience has since been created that shows people a 360-degree view of the city from the newly erected One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
Time Magazine worked out the details with the port authorities in New York and New Jersey to gain exclusive access to the antenna that sits at the very top of the One World Trade Center tower. The goal was to capture a 360-degree view image from the tallest building in New York.
After several months of negotiations, Time was granted exclusive access to the antenna. At that time, they partnered with the startup, Gigapan. From simple sketches to dynamic plans, they moved ahead, using a 13-foot aluminum arm that held a Canon 5D Mark II camera.
The images were shot on Sept. 28, 2013. The camera spanned the world below the new One Trade Center skyscraper over the course of five hours, capturing 567 photos. Though it may sound like a simple undertaking, it was anything but simple. The project turned out to be quite challenging, with the need to combat and offset high winds, building vibrations and the incredible height.
Since the photos were taken, they have been pooled together and digitally mastered into one unique image. The cool factor of the 360-degree view is that users can zoom in anywhere on the image to get a closer look. So close, in fact, that users can locate and identify people standing in the street in front of the building. Zoom in, span out or rotate the image to get a completely different view.
The One World Trade Center is a three million square foot building. It has been built under the latest standards for high rises, including fireproof materials and the use of biochemical filters. It reaches 140 stories into the sky and features an observation deck on levels 100 to 102 that is expected to draw 3.8 million visitors per year. Though some speculated that the building may never reach completion, it is close to being ready for the public. The observation deck is scheduled to open next year, but the rest of the building is in the final phase of construction and is set to open soon.
The 360-degree view is made for online viewing, however, giving people a sneak peek at what they can expect to see from the observation deck of the new skyscraper. Users can zoom in to different parts of the city, locate significant landmarks or see the changes that have been made since 9/11. The panoramic image is a year in the making. It offers a unique perspective on the city of New York.
By Tracy Rose