A NEW BERLIN TAKES SHAPE - AND CITYSCOPE TRACKS ITS PROGRESS
GREETINGS FROM EUROPE'S BIGGEST BUILDING SITE! Or maybe you'd prefer to be walking in the woods, lying on a beach, or bathing, but here in the centre of Berlin, thousands of tourists are coming every day to see the Berlin of the future taking shape. A big red box on stilts contains an exhibition, shop and cafe, and from the roof you can get a panoramic view of the Sony building, and the other part-constructed office towers that will stand around the new Potsdamer Platz. The exhibition gives detailed information about all aspects of the redevelopment of Berlin, using interactive screens, display boards, sound and video - in fact, it's all too much to take in at once.
But if you can't get to Berlin, you can see what's happening at any time by visiting City Scope, an innovative project which brings panoramic pictures of the Potsdamer Platz to the Internet five times a day. It all started when a photographer went up on a crane, and took a panorama of the then vacant site in 1994. He knew it was all going to change, and wanted to document it, so he came up with an automated solution, using a roof-mounted video camera and Apple computers. Nearly four years later, the City Scope project has amassed thousands of images, for viewing on the Internet, for purchase as high quality prints or as time-lapse videos. I interviewed PR person at City Scope, Ursa Nagel, and their senior programmer - article to appear later.