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Sven Berg: Downtown Boise’s growth is unprecedented

I’m working on a story for next week updating people on the major projects taking place in Downtown Boise.

It’s been something of a tar-baby for me. The more projects I report on, the more I find. They include the final stages of City Center Plaza, the three hotel projects under construction, condominiums and apartments. The long and short is that Boise’s never seen anything like this.

Of course, that brings up an obvious question: How long can this last?

I’ll also update everybody on the less fun byproduct of Downtown’s growth — the lane closures that seem to be constantly shifting and, yet, never-ending.

Meanwhile, I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the video Statesman photographer Kyle Green produced from Wednesday’s topping out ceremony for Boise Centre East.

The last couple years, we reporters been producing more videos here at the Statesman.

It’s an unusual exercise — trying to get people who’ve trained their whole careers to communicate via the written word to add a visual component to their reporting. As you might expect, many of the results have been a little ... umm ... raw.

The benefit, though, is that our mindsets about what a news video should be aren’t fenced in by years of broadcast journalism practice. Every so often, we do something pretty cool that most TV reporters wouldn’t think of.

Kyle’s video from Wednesday is one example. He clamped a fancy 360-degree camera on the last roof beam to be put in place. It recorded footage of a panoramic view of Boise as a crane hoisted the beam into place. My favorite part is the American flag, also attached to the beam, in the foreground.

Check it out:

I’ve found the best way to watch this video is on a smartphone or tablet, because as you rotate the device, the view rotates. (I did find that the east-west directions were backward.)

If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet handy, you can watch the video on a standard laptop or desktop computer. A little compass in the upper left-hand corner of the screen lets you rotate the view as the video plays.

Note: Some browsers don’t yet support 360-video. This is best viewed using Google Chrome. Even better: Try on the YouTube app on your phone.

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