Shanghai, China • 360° Aerial Panoramas
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The first day in Shanghai
From the first moment in Shanghai I had a feeling that I was surrounded by endless construction sites. The area where we were staying looked like an anthill; we were surrounded by a crowd of people, heavy traffic, and scooters that were all over the place, even on the sidewalks.
We went to sleep without any strength left. In the morning, while cursing at the damned alarm clock, we barely woke up at 4pm local time. The weather outside was foggy (we couldn't tell if it was due to smog or heavy clouds). It didn't change in the evening either, but we still had to go shooting. We crawled out to the street where the first communication problem was waiting for us: taxi drivers stationed near our hotel didn't understand where we needed to go or pretended not to understand. In the end we had to go by foot. Past three or four blocks we realized that we wouldn't make it to the embankment before sunset. Dima managed to catch a taxi, and we had a fast and cheap trip to our destination.
We chose a little square where we unpacked our equipment and launched the helicopter. Dima suggested a very busy place for the evening and night shooting — the area around big flowerbed near the television tower. It was a heavy traffic area (with very lively crossroad), not to mention the square was surrounded by an overpass with the crowd of local people and tourists. There were too many people. At that point we couldn't find a better place and had to launch our helicopter.
It was getting dark fast. The helicopter flew up into Shanghai evening sky, and Dima kept saying that television tower refused to fit into the frame. It was a very crucial moment, not only because we were launching the helicopter over our heads, but the altitude was higher than 200 meters. And, finally, Dima said that everything worked out. The flying altitude was 270 meters. For a night flight it was so awesome!
It made me realize that Shanghai was a very difficult place for taking pictures with a radio-controlled helicopter. There were too many high-rise buildings. Some were higher than 400 meters. But locals were very friendly: they seemed to be interested in what we were doing and even took some pictures with us. We weren't bothered by police. We had everything to continue our work.
Shanghai. Day two
Elated by our yesterday's success of high altitude flight, we decided to raise the bar and launch the helicopter in the middle of a small park that was surrounded by high-rise buildings; but a guard came up to us and ordered us with gestures to stop the launch.
At first we pretended not to understand him, then we showed him our photos and explained that all we wanted to do was to take some pictures, and then, suddenly, Dima noticed radio-controlled helicopters inside one of kiosks not far from our starting point. Dima went up to the kiosk window and pointed to the helicopters, implying that we were trying to fly the same thing that was sold there. I couldn't understand the logic of that one minute pantomime, but the guard seemed to understand him and started consulting someone on the radio transmitter. After finished his conversation, he shook his head, but with less confidence than when we first met. I smiled and made a waving motion so he would step away from our launching point. He decided not to resist and joined the rest of the observing crowd gathered around us.
Generally speaking, Chinese were very curious, just like little children. Wherever we decided to launch our helicopter, we were momentarily surrounded by a small crowd of people. But if we didn't ask them to move they would get in our way: they would push us aside or try to look into the monitor, standing right in front of us.
Nothing interesting happened that day. Except, maybe, when a guard (or policeman, one couldn't tell by their uniform) approached us on the embankment and forbid us to launch the helicopter. I played dumb and ignored his request. He consulted someone on the radio transmitter, and in the end allowed us to launch the helicopter. After we landed our helicopter and showed him some of the pictures, we parted as friends.
When we finished shooting on the embankment, we headed towards the park. I asked Dima, "Where are we running?"
"We won't make it in time! It's getting dark very fast! I can hardly see anything!"
"Dima, would you mind taking off your sunglasses?!"
During our second night flight we beat a new high altitude record — 300 meters above the ground.
Our stay in Shanghai was coming to an end, but it seemed we were able to show the most interesting places in the center of the city, that convey the atmosphere of an ultra-modern metropolitan city.
And now a few facts about Shanghai:
Not many cities can boast as many records as Shanghai, China's largest city, the world's most densely-populated metropolis, and the largest seaport on the planet.
Shanghai's lands have been inhabited from ancient times: people who lived here were engaged in agriculture, fishing and salt production. The land had been passed from one dynasty to another, until this fishing village, with its favorable location on the Yangtze River near the East China Sea, was given an official status in year 751.
During the centuries of Shanghai's history, the city has seen both peacetime and war: it was invaded and bombed, and then, with new powers, it was restored again. But only in 1992 Shanghai entered a fast development phase, which allowed it to become the leading city in the country, and then in the whole world. And now it's one of the world's major financial centers, the core of China's political intrigues, and, at the same time, the cradle of modern Chinese cinema and theater.
Despite the fact that the city is full of ancient temples and cozy side streets with houses built in the beginning of the last century, the first real symbol of Shanghai is the urban landscape. Modern buildings have a unique architecture, and the shape of their upper floors resemble flying saucers. One of the most amusing creations is a pedestrian ring-bridge built in Pudong district in 2012. You can go up as high as 6 meters above the ground by using stairs or escalators, and the pedestrian part of the bridge is so wide that you can line up 15 people in a row. In the evening the bridge has a very beautiful illumination.
Another most important Shanghai landmark is the Bund, a waterfront area on a plot of 1.5 kilometers with 52 buildings of different styles, from Gothic to Art Deco. Because of that it's often called "the museum of world architecture." Since 2003 it also houses Aurora Plaza, a beautiful 185-meter tower on the other side of the river. At night it turns into a huge screen broadcasting various videos that can be seen from the promenade: from commercials to news reports.
There are more than 80 buildings higher than 170 meters in Shanghai. The most famous skyscraper, which ends up in any album of Shanghai photos, is a 492-meter high World Financial Center. It is crowned with a strange trapezium-shaped window intended to reduce air resistance. Initially, the window was round, but some people thought it was associated with the sun on the flag of Japan. As a result, the circle turned into trapezium, and building started to look like a giant beer bottle opener. Nowadays it's the highest building in the city, although it's threatened to be overshadowed by another 632-meter high skyscraper that is being built in the Pudong district with a predictable name Shanghai.
I can tell you endless stories about different sights of Shanghai, the city where antiquity meets modern civilization, tradition crosses with avant-garde, and green parks are framed in glass and concrete, but why should I? You can enjoy this magnificent scenery through our panoramas!
20 June 2013
You can see plain photo panoramas of Shanghai in our gallery
"really love my hometown Shanghai, a modern city!!!"
Liz Wan, New Zealand
"welcome to China"
huang jinhai, China
"Hi, you guys are great!
My English is not very good, please forgive me.
I currently have a web site to quote your content, but your picture is a bit outdated, it's Shanghai Tower , and if you can update it, it's the best.
I would like to pay a certain fee."
wu wei, China
"China is really nice. Thank you so much."
Negin Sajedi far, Iran
james kuan, Taiwan Region
少辉 倪, China
"I LOVE IT VERY MUCH,THANK YOU,WELCOME TO SHANGHAI"
ROSA GUEVARA, Peru
"Very nice beautiful ,thank you ...I welcome to shanghai. I like love shanghai. I'll will go visit to shanghai to where many places for enjoy so much. Very goooods."
Chan Shiew Fong, Malaysia
I've been here and you capture this beautiful city superbly! You are doing a fantastic job, the images are absolutely beautiful and you almost feel like you are actually there! Many thanks."
R Freeman, United Kingdom
"I can't help making comments again.Thank you so much for your masterpiece.It is really highly apprecited.
Is it possible for a second 360° Aerial Panorama about Shanghai when Shanghai Tower(632m) is completed in 2014? That would be dar more appreciated!!!"
George Hou, China
"Ã§ok gÃ¼zel ve bÃ¼yÃ¼k kent
oÄŸlum muhammed ali ÅŸu anda burada Allah yar ve yardÄ±mcÄ±sÄ± olsun selamlar"
Mehmet Kandemir, Turkey
"Great!! thank you very much!"
Nick Tang, China
wong ray, American Samoa
"I loved the audio very much. Can you send me the 1st audio?"
gagan arora, India
Varvara, AirPano: Unfortunately, we can't send you music. You can search this song on iTunes. Here you can read how to know the title of melody: http://www.airpano.com/FAQ.php
"Shanghai is my hometown. I have ever never forgot her miserable and humiliating years that during the second world war. Right now, If we forget our past years, we have nothing to be proud for future."
qi lin, USA
"Absolutely top of what I have ever seen."
Heiny W Duerr, Switzerland
Reza Alavi, Iran
I live in zahedan in iran :("
maryan abdi, Iran
alireza maghsudloo, Iran
Kiljae Lee, Korea
"Shanghai is my true heart of hearts city on earth. I will marry the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in China this September. I will be there six weeks and travel with her as well. She will come to US after discussing it I won, LOL. She does not want to leave but we will return always to visit. When I retire we will stay there one year forever. I love Shanghai so much and will always do so. China is the most amazing place on earth to me. God put it on the earth and to finish it he placed some of his Angels there. I am fortunate to find one of them. My wife will be my most cherished woman on earth! I will never see anything better than China and love to travel and visit there. When I was a young man I was not allowed. It is a dream for me to be in Beijing, The Forbidden City with a Chinese woman. A dream I will remember all of my life. Wo Ai Zhong Hua! This site is so beautiful it is part of a dream to see this work of art. Bless you for sharing this on the internet. I miss China betwwen my vacations very much. You are so kind to share this. Bless your dear heart. Ray"
Ray Cauchon, USA
Varvara, AirPano: Ray, thank you for your kind words about our project! We're glad that your dreams come true!
"Fantastic views of the world. When was Shanghai panaorama photography recorded ?"
Gregor Stone, Australia
Varvara, AirPano: Dear Gregor, this panorama was made in April.
baran hydari, Iran
"Maravilloso trabajo fotográfico. Fabulosa SHANGHAY, felicitaciones."
Jeremías de Jesús Guerrero Palacios, Colombia
"Very Good , Thank you"
ali abedi, Iran
ehsan jafari, Iran
"Amazing Pics!!! Love Shanghai ;)"
Skylar Young, China
xinwei D, China
"I have been searching views about Shanghai,my favourite ultra-modern metropolis,for a long time,yet I have to say this is the best masterpiece I ever seen.What a masterfull job!!!"
George Hou, China
Varvara, AirPano: Thank you, George! We are pleased that you like it.
ابو عبدالل عبدالله, United Arab Emirates
"My son lives here and so nice to be able to virtual-visit and remember places I have been"
Jean Clayton, Australia
"love it very much"
qian king, China
Temple Owhonda-Wopara, Nigeria
"I love it verey much !!! Thank you for all that, welcome to Shanghai."
Ma Jingshan, China
"Amazing pics! Welcome to Shanghai!"
Di Wu, USA
"The photography is very beautiful，And I love shanghai."
宁波 小乙, China
Paulo Rattes, Brazil
"Thank you!!!!!!!!Come to China more!!!"
yi xin, China
"Amazing pictures, it is really great work, I enjoy so much,
Thanks for that"
Lindawati Santosa, Australia
"Really wonderful.Thank you very much."
dhanakoti rao, India
Karthik Reddy, India
"You have taken great trouble to bring the beauty of the world to our beds of disability. Thank you. Great work."
Stephen Ekron, South Africa
""Wonderful photography. Most enjoyable.""
alireza pournaghi, Iran