Google Street View spent three days taking 360-degree images inside and outside the 163-storey tower so users can see from the lobby up to the world's highest swimming pool on the 76th floor, the observation deck on the 124th floor and the spire 828 metres above the city - try it out here.
"This is the first time we are in this type of building, in an Arabic country, connecting indoor and outdoor," says Street View program manager Pascal Malite in the making-of movie.
The team was able to roam inside the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill-designed building using trolleys and a device called Trekker, launched last year. The device fits all the equipment required to capture locations in one backpack, allowing operators to access spaces like the tower's corridors and window-washing baskets on the 8oth floor.
"It allows you to go to all the places you want to go, like mountain trails, narrow passages, everywhere that no other device will fit," says Malite. The technique has already been deployed to let Street View users explore the Grand Canyon and the Galapagos Islands are due to follow later this year.
In an interview with Dezeen last year, head of Google Maps John Hanke told us about the firm's plans for Street View, hinting that it could link up with social networks for real-time information about who's in a building and what's happening there.
"Google has been working on this indoor location-mapping technology that allows you to get high-fidelity, high-accuracy location inside," he said. "And you have all of these kind of real-time technologies for knowing about what's going on, where your friends are, so I think we're getting closer to that idea that you can know what's happening at any place on the world at any time. It's not fully realised yet, but we're getting there."
In his latest Opinion column on how digital culture is changing urbanism, Sam Jacob discusses how Google Maps is redrawing the city through personalised maps according to the data it holds and "Google's idea of what a city is and what it thinks you will do there."
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill recently added another skyscraper to the Dubai skyline with the completion of the twisted Cayan Tower. Their Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010, is set to be overtaken as the world's tallest building by the 1000-metre-tall Kingdom Tower that's currently under construction in Jeddah.
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