Get a drone’s-eye view of Seattle in ‘View From Above’ from Boeing and Emirates

Seattle sunset with Space Needle
“View From Above” shows the Space Needle and a Seattle sunset the way a camera-equipped drone sees it. (Credit: Emirates Airline / Shotwell Aerial Media)

Seattle is one of the stars of the show in “View From Above,” a series of aerial videos shot by drones over 19 destinations for Emirates Airline and the Boeing Co.

The Emerald City looks like the gorgeous place it is, with awesome views of the waterfront and skyline, Gasworks Park and the University District, ferries plying Elliott Bay, plus mountains, lakes and waterways galore.

But that’s not the only reason why Seattle made the list: Because Boeing is one of the project’s sponsors, the aerospace giant’s facilities around Puget Sound are featured as well.

“Partnering with Emirates for this project was a tremendously exciting venture,” Jerry Verghese, vice president of global brand marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a news release.  “The combination of technology, art and innovation to bring about these fabulous vignettes of Emirates’ destinations around the world is remarkable.”

Emirates includes Boeing 777 jets in its fleet, but those weren’t the flying machines that took the pictures. Instead, the airline turned to more than a dozen qualified drone pilots around the world to capture the scenes. Some of the Seattle footage was shot by Justin Thomas Ostensen of Shotwell Media.

Ostensen, who has clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration for his drone operation, said he kept safety foremost in mind during the shoot. “Drones are very safe, with failsafe features that create high levels of reliability and stability,” he said. “However, extensive experience is required to operate drones for aerial filming.”

In other words, don’t try this at home.

Ostensen shot his footage using a DJI Inspire 1 drone that was tricked up with professional equipment. He told GeekWire that he notified all the local authorities about his shooting schedule, and always makes sure to avoid flying anywhere near people. “My biggest recommendation is, if you think it’s a bad idea, don’t do it,” he said.

Check out the full “View From Above” playlist for many more videos, including vistas from Vietnam, the Netherlands, Japan and Rio. (And make sure to watch the clips in full-screen HD.)

Update for 5 p.m. PT: Emirates and Boeing are providing this cool, clickable interface to select the videos from a spinnable globe. Also, it should be noted that the videos incorporate some stock aerial footage that did not come from drones. So don’t get the idea that it’s OK to fly drones near airports.