Photographer Gerald Donovan channeled his inner Tom Cruise when he traveled to the top of the world’s tallest building, the 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. But he didn’t end his journey at the elevator’s last stop on the 160th floor, Donovan braved a 656-foot trip up a ladder to reach the peak of the structure.

Once he settled into position, Donovan took 70 photographs, 48 of them being 80-megapixel panoramic shots created with the help of a mechanical panoramic tripod. He then maneuvered around a lightning conductor, aircraft beacons and other equipment to photograph the views they obstructed. Donovan then digitally stitched his photographs together to create an interactive panorama of the sight from the topall for your viewing pleasure. Check it out here.

The 2.5 gigapixel image can be zoomed in and out, and rotated 360-degrees. The image’s high-resolution provides great views of landmarks like the Burj Al Arab hotel, the world's largest mall, and the Meydan Racecourse. If you never make it to the United Arab Emirates, you can at least say you experienced a pretty decent aerial view of the 22nd most expensive city in the world.

Donovan’s effort was for the commemoration of the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA) in March. The award has attracted entries from almost 100 countries, which is not surprising considering its whopping $120,000 grand prize. — Jason Duaine Hahn

[via Discovery]