One World Trade Center – Top of America

TIME debuted a special issue, multimedia website and two films on the new One World Trade Center, featuring an exclusive and unprecedented 360-degree interactive photograph from the top of the 1,776-foot-tall tower, the tallest building in the western hemisphere.

TIME was granted exclusive access to the spire for the year-long project and TIME’s Jonathan Woods, a photo editor, is the only journalist to ascend to the top. To capture the incredible view from the tallest building in the nation, TIME worked with tech start-up Gigapan to build a rotating camera that could withstand the conditions atop the tower. An eight-month process of design and construction resulted in a 13- foot-long aluminum jib that would attach to the base of the spire, and serve as a rotating arm for the camera. Over five hours of shooting, the camera produced nearly 600 images that were then stitched together digitally into a single massive image of everything the eye can see in all directions. Users can zoom in and out of the panoramic photo to take in the entire city.

It took one year of planning, 8 months of design and construction, 5 hours of shooting and 600 images to create the interactive photo

The Facts

  • One World Trade Center launched on the same day as the redesigned The multimedia feature helped drive to its all-time highest traffic week online.
  • The One World Trade Center issue featured TIME’s first-ever gatefold cover.
  • TIME is selling prints of the panoramic photograph. A portion of the proceeds will go to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.


Time 100

The TIME 100 is TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The TIME 100 Gala celebrates the list and gathers leaders in politics, business, philanthropy, technology, culture, sports and science.