It's only been a few years since humans could climb more than half a mile above the surface of the Earth without the help of jet fuel. It's easy to forget that buildings that reach this high into the atmosphere are a new phenomenon in our world—at these heights, it's more like aerospace engineering than architecture.

Lead image: Bill Richards/CC

After looking at the newest crop of supertall (over 300 meter) buildings yesterday, I noticed that while photos of the buildings themselves are all over the place, we rarely see the view from the top—images shot from their observation decks. I dug through Flickr's Creative Commons archives and realized there are plenty floating around out there, and they're breathtaking.


Feel free to drop your own in the comments, or check out even more bird's-eye-view shots from towers here.

Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, 1,614 Feet

Manu Cornet/CC; Gabriel Jorby/CC; Kenneth Moore/CC

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, 1,588 Feet

JohnLSL/CC; BlueSkySunHigh/CC; Barbara Willi/CC

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, 2,717 Feet

AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili; Darla دارلا Hueske/CC; Reinhold Behringer/CC

Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Mecca, 1,971 Feet

Lou Kofiah/CC

One World Trade Center, New York, 1,776 Feet

AP/Seth Wenig; third photo via AP/Richard Drew

101 Taipei, Taipei, 1,670 Feet

First two photos by Gary0801/CC; Second photo by Gérard Métrailler/CC