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The 360 degree interactive view from the Burj Khalifa created to celebrate the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award. Gerald Donovan
The 360 degree interactive view from the Burj Khalifa created to celebrate the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award. Gerald Donovan

360-degree interactive view from Dubai's Burj Khalifa wows the web

Want to know what Tom Cruise saw from the top of the Burj Khalifa? A stunning interactive panoramic view from the peak of the tallest building in the world has gone online.

DUBAI // A vertiginous panoramic view from the peak of the tallest building in the world has been made available online.

The Burj Khalifa Panorama, an interactive application by local photographer Gerald Donovan, shows a view of Dubai from 828 metres high.

The panorama is stitched together from 48 panoramic images, shot at a resolution of 80 megapixels. After these were stitched together, the 'gaps' in the panorama were stitched together by 70 individual photos.

"The Burj Khalifa is a perfect building for shooting a 360 degree pano from the top of, because its "roof" is only 1.5 meters across," said Mr Donovan.

"This means that you can shoot from a single location and capture the entire view, without the building itself getting in the way.

"It's all about the view. Nothing can top that view - it is a unique place.

"Since the time of the Great Pyramids, remarkably few buildings have held the title of 'World's tallest structure on land'. The Burj Khalifa is only the 15th in over 4,500 years of human history.

"It's a very, very special building, and hopefully people will appreciate it even more now that they can see the view from the top.

"It's all about being able to take people up there 'virtually' and share what I experienced for real, and I hope people enjoy it."

The panorama has been released to celebrate the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA), which will be held in March.

The award attracts applicants from 99 countries and this year the total prize money is $389,000, or Dh1.4 million.

Ali bin Thalith, the general secretary of the award said the panorama was designed to demonstrate and spur on advances in photography.

"This is an extraordinary image taken from an extraordinary location," he said in a statement. "It reflects the goals of HIPA, to extend the boundaries of photography and celebrate images of unusual beauty and quality that are truly outstanding."

mcroucher@thenational.ae

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