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Apple spaceship HQ taking shape: Here's a drones-eye view

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Privacy advocates argue that drones give governments and corporations the ability to spy on the public, but while that is certainly true, drones can also be used by the public to spy on governments and corporations.

This is what happened to Apple, which is currently in the process of building a gorgeously massive new campus in Cupertino. Given that Apple is very secretive about its products, it is also no surprise that the iPhone maker does not talk much about its circular spaceship-like headquarters being built on Tantau Avenue, which is blocked off from the public by high walls that prevent passers-by from taking street-level pictures of the construction.

That doesn't mean one can't use a drone, though. And that is exactly what YouTube user jmcminn did. Using a GoPro Hero 3+ strapped to a Phantom 2 drone, the pilot maneuvered the camera over the construction site to take a video of what the new Apple headquarters currently look like.

While aerial shots taken in April by KCBS reporter Ron Cervi showed mostly nothing but crop circles, the new eight-minute video posted on Aug. 24, 2014 shows major progress in high definition, specifically the creation of a donut-shaped furrow in the ground where Apple's four-story circular office building to house more than 13,000 employees will go.

The video also provides viewers a better idea of just how massive the new Apple campus will be. The 2.8 million-square-foot headquarters, which is essentially a giant spaceship version of Apple's stores, is bigger than the Empire State Building, once the tallest building in the world, and the Pentagon. It is also much bigger than a U.S. Navy Blimp, a battleship from World War 2 and a supertanker.

Apple Campus 2 is one of the last major projects headed by Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs before he succumbed to cancer in 2011. In 2009, Jobs sought the help of legendary architect Norman Foster, whose projects included restoring the historical Reichstag in Berlin and constructing the bullet-shaped Gherkin in London, to build what Jobs envisioned to be "the best office building in the world."

"One of the most memorable things and perhaps vital to the project was Steve saying, 'Don't think of me as your client. Think of me as one of your team,'" says Foster in a video presented by Apple to the city officials of Cupertino.

The campus, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will have vast gardens transplanted with fruit trees hanging over bike paths, a glass gazebo leading to an underground theater for holding press events, a state-of-the-art gym and a 90,000-square-foot cafeteria. The campus will also house a building for research and development on the southern edge.

In the meantime, however, Apple will have to make do with the Infinity Loop headquarters it has overgrown, with teams of Apple engineers scattered across neighboring locations in Cupertino, until the Apple team moves in to its new spaceship home two years from now.

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