TODAY   |  March 06, 2014

Time releases panoramic World Trade Center photos

A special issue of Time magazine with panoramic images from the tallest building in the Western hemisphere hits stands today. It’s the culmination of a year-long project surrounding the new World Trade Center. TODAY’s Matt Lauer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> special issue of "time" magazine just out today.

>> this is a culmination of the project of the number 1 world trade center . time has devised a way to bring the breathtaking view to everyone. very few people will ever experience the thrill of climbing to the top of the tallest building in our hemisphere.

>> wow. there's like an unobstructed view. or the moment when you see the world on high. last may i was lucky enough to be there to report the historic moment when the workers capped off the final piece. for a team from "time" magazine, it was just the beginning.

>> in early 2013 we set off on a process to create a panoramic image from the tallest building in the western hemisphere .

>> it would be an interactive photograph taken from the top of the spire, so high the team had to build special equipment to stabilize a camera facing 25 mile-per-hour winds. the buildings's vibrations and a host of other challenges.

>> it's insanely difficult. it's not like we can just climb up there and take a look at it. this is a one-and-done deal.

>> instead they settled for an elaborate test on top of a tall bridge in portland.

>> we get up there, everything powers on, remote computer boards, everything is working and then we go back and pull it up on the screen and there are zero files. zero files on the card. and we came back with nothing.

>> praying they had ironed out the kinks, they endured the climb to the top of the spire.

>> when you stepped out on to that platform for the first time, it's just like you can see the withhold world up there.

>> it took seven hours to guide their camera 360 degrees around the building, snapping hundreds of photos along the way. then photographs spent weeks stitching over 500 photographs together for their once in a lifetime shot. the final product, an interactive image so details, you can zoom in to the top of the world to the father's grandparents.

>> they're watching us.

>> that's unreal.

>> it makes you kind of nauseous, though, seeing that when it spins around.

>> you're not unstrapped or unharnessed in.

>> you okay with heights?

>> not 1,700 feet.

>> by the way, you can see and explore the full 360 degree image on