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January 31st, 2003

Up above the world so high...

One of the perks of doing freelance IT journalism is the opportunity to go to places that aren't normally open to the public. One such place is the BT Tower, one of the tallest buildings in London - and the only tall structure for miles around. Closed to the public in the 1970s, BT began to use the Tower's viewing areas for corporate hospitality, including its private revolving restaurant. It's where a BT spin out company chose to hold their launch party.

After fighting London's frost-defeated public transport system to reach the tower in time for this morning's briefing, the prospect of a sunny, snowy London spread out below me was a tanatalising treat. I set myself a task: one image from each of the restaurant's windows, with the intention of stitching them together to make a panorama - and possibly a full 360 degree view. I've taken all the pictures, but it'll be a while before they're stitched and web-readied.

As a teaser, here's a zoom shot of the West End, specifically the area around Marble Arch. The red circle? It's 101 Wigmore Street, where I spend the days I'm not out on client site or working from home.

...I can see my house^h^h^h^h^hoffice from here...Collapse )

The open space is Hyde Park, and the big conglomeration of buildings next to where I work is Selfridges. Marble Arch itself is unfortunately hidden by the buildings.

A fuller panorama of the whole city will follow shortly!

London: the 360 degree movie

I have now completed a Quicktime VR panorama of London, made from a selection of the pictures I took this afternoon in the rotating restaurant of the BT Tower. The weather was excellent, some of the best visibilty I've seen after yesterday's blizzards. There's plenty of snow still lying on the hills around the city...

Just to get your bearings, you can find a map of where the Tower is here, and an aerial photograph, here.

The panorama will open facing roughly south west, looking towards Battersea Park and Battersea Power Station.

Click here to download the 360 degree panorama of London... Remember folks, it is a 5MB .MOV file!

You can scroll around the image using a mouse, pressing "shift" to zoom in, and "ctrl" to zoom out. You may even see your intrepid phtographer reflected in one or two panes.

Now, for the IMAX release...

(Updated to make the QTVR movie a download link instead of an embedded image behind a cut tag, as LiveJournal strips the tags needed to manage QuickTime movies)