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Shard view shown off in ace interactive 360-degree image

One intrepid photographer has created a gorgeous interactive panoramic image from the top of London's great glass skyscraper.

Why pay for the privilege of vertigo when you can enjoy the glorious 360-degree view from the top of The Shard from your desk for free? Thanks to intrepid panoramic photographer Will Pearson, you can do just that.

Pearson, who specialises in panoramic photography, has created an interactive, hi-res scape showing the view from the top of the EU's biggest eyesore tallest building, which you can examine in full-screen mode if you head over to his site.

In addition to being able to navigate left, right, up and down, you can zoom in on landmarks such as Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and even, if you're a real geographical smartie pants, CNET UK Towers.

Previously, Pearson has worked with the likes of Apple and Doctor Who, as well as photographing other cityscape panoramas of London. Back in 2012, he even created a gorgeous twilight panorama from midway up The Shard during the building process, although this is his first effort from the very top.

Panoramic photographs can be defined as images with a view wider than the human eye and are normally assembled on this kind of scale using fisheye lenses, like this ridiculously expensive Nikon beast, and specialist software.

Towering over the capital at a staggering 1,016ft and clad entirely in glass, The Shard is a formidable structure that perches perilously on top of London Bridge railway station, housing 72 habitable floors. It's attracted plenty of negative criticism, although as someone blessed with a view of the London skyline from my flat, I personally quite enjoy gazing out of my window at it twinkling in the distance on a clear night.

The Shard opened officially on 5 July with an underwhelming laser show, which dragged Londoners and tourists alike out on to the chilly summer streets to see what turned out to be the jaggedy, conical skyscraper emitting the beam of a dying lightsaber into the night sky. Tickets for the viewing platform, which opens to the public in February 2013, went on sale the following day.

Are you planning to take the great glass elevator to see the view for yourself? Or are you happy to save your dosh and just have a tinker with Pearson's phenomenal panoramic photograph instead? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Will Pearson