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Innovation & Startups

High Point Pittsburgh brings back the aerial views of downtown from the US Steel Tower

Ever since The Top of the Triangle restaurant closed in 2001, David Bear has dreamed of bringing panoramic downtown views back to Pittsburgh.
Until that happens in reality, High Point Pittsburgh will take us there virtually with a video exploration of one acre on the top of the US Steel Tower, apparently the tallest and widest expanse of space in the world. 
"Pittsburgh is one of the great urban landscapes," says Bear, a fellow in Carnegie Mellon’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry who first wrote about the idea when he was a newspaper columnist. "We have a lot of good views looking in on downtown, but there's no place to go to go up and look out." 
 Virtually There (VT), a three-year endeavor, was unveiled this week by Bear and a team of CMU researchers at the Randy Pausch Studio of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. But anyone can take in the views from anywhere with Internet access.
Visitors to the site can take in the downtown views, wander an atrium, restaurant and museum spaces, hop on a a virtual elevator to the rooftop promenade and watch fireworks over the city.  
The architectural renderings are wrapped around one of Bear's other pet projects, Gigapan, a CMU developed platform that gives viewers the ability to move through a scene in 360-degrees. 
 “It’s a virtual destination that allows anyone to experience an imaginary place we hope one day might become a reality," says Bear. "In a very real sense, it provides a whole new way to see what can be.”
Take the virtual tour!
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: David Bear, High Point Pittsburgh
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