The Best Aerial Image of New York City You'll Ever See

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Ok, technically, it's a stitched-together panorama, but just look at it. Click to enlarge it.

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This is a great image of a city that seems designed to bring great images into being. Sergey Semonov, a Russian photographer, submitted the image to the Epson International Photographic Pano Awards, and took first prize in the amateur category. 

Semonov works on a small noncommercial team called AirPano, which travels the globe creating these 3D aerial panoramas. They shoot from helicopters and then stitch the images together. Mostly, they produce these spherical panoramas that I find confusing to navigate, but clearly this one has been flattened for our viewing pleasure.

"I shoot landscapes, spheres from helicopter, gig-pixel panoramas as well as manipulate Photoshop and prepare the photos to be printed in a huge size and organize photo-exhibitions," Semonov wrote of his work at AirPano. "I like new, progressive and unique things."

Along with the images of Manhattan, you can find many other beautiful/interesting places, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Dubai City, the Alps, and the Pyramids

UPDATE: It's worth noting that this image -- while definitely real -- also has some serious distortions of building height. I don't know the exact specifics, but think of a world map. You know how it makes Greenland seem big in some projections? That's kind of what we're seeing here. 

UPDATE 2: Designer Danya Henninger offers, "It's likely made like a regular 360-degree virtual tour and then mapped flat with Vedutismo projection."

Via Radley Balko

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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