Interactive: Soar through the Notre Dame Cathedral by Drone Video on National Geographic

National Geographic custom-built an interactive webpage to showcase my drone videography of the Notre-Dame cathedral of Paris.

The dedicated page allows viewers to navigate through five sections of the cathedral during reconstruction: the spire, the crossing, the nave, the bell towers and the side chapels. For each section, a 3D model highlights the area of the church, and multiple drone videos can be scrolled through. The interactive accompanies my February 2022 cover story on Notre-Dame in National Geographic magazine.

In order to fly a drone inside and above Notre-Dame, I needed a drone pilot’s license from the French government and a long list of authorizations from the Paris prefecture of police, nearby airports and the public institution in charge of the rebuilding of Notre-Dame. I spoke about overcoming some of the obstacles in an interview about the story behind the cover.

preview video:


Credits for the interactive drone video webpage include:

Videos and Photographs: Tomas van Houtryve

Text: Robert Kunzig, Tomas van Houtryve

Development: Oscar A. Santamariña and Brian T. Jacobs

Design: Oscar A. Santamariña and Elaine Bradley

Video Producer: Shweta Gulati

Text Editor: Eve Conant

Photo Editors: James Wellford and Maya Valentine

Copy Editor: Cindy Leitner

3D renderings: MAP / Vassar College / Chantier Scientifique Notre-Dame de Paris / French Ministry of Culture / CNRS – 2021