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Once the preserve of militaries, drones are now for everyone. (You can buy one on Amazon for under $50.) As a result, the world is viewing the world in a new way. Here's the best drone footage from 2014.

Church Above The Clouds

Utrecht's Dom Tower is the tallest church in the Netherlands. Watching the drone traveling up the full length of the tower, the sky clearing as the church rises above the clouds, is magical.

Stunning Thailand

Quartz flagged this in its rundown of the year's best drone footage. What's remarkable is the street- or beach-level shots and just how close the drone is to the ground. The shot of the kids running along the pier (at about the 3-minute mark) is pure cinema.


If you've ever wondered what it's like to be inside a fireworks display, wonder no more.

Inside A Volcano

In a similar vein -- albeit a little more hard-core -- you could always just fly into a volcano. (Shot on the South Pacific island of Tanna.)


Pripyat, Ukraine, in the Chornobyl fallout zone, has been a setting for the "Call of Duty" video game and a horror movie. You can see why: Decrepit Soviet-era apartment blocks, abandoned children's playgrounds, an old Ferris wheel, its cabins swinging in the wind, all make for an incredibly haunting experience.

The Maidan From Above

What a difference a year makes. This footage from Ukraine shows the extent of the Maidan protests -- at day and during the evening. Nearly a year later, an RFE/RL drone captured the events marking the anniversary of the protests.

Sea Of Dolphins

Off the coast of California, thousands of dolphins stampede, The guy who filmed it, Dave Anderson, said that it was the "most beautiful and compelling five-minute video" he has ever made. "It feels like I have entered a new dimension," he said.

Surfing Monster Waves

Giant waves in Hawaii. It's hard to get an idea of the scale until you see the surfer.

Hawk Vs. Drone

Hawk wins.

Expect a lot more in 2015. Although it might be more of this:

Or this: