Programmer Writes World’s Biggest Hello World

Hello World semacode in Google EarthAn ambitious German programmer decided to write the world’s biggest “Hello, World!” result. Those of you who are programmers know that writing your first code in a programming language usually involves writing a program to print out the words “Hello, World!”. It’s been a tradition for several decades now. This guy decided to show the words in a crop field so it would be visible in aerial photos. Only, he decided to do it in the form of a Semacode (a visual code – or bar code – for containing information). Semacodes are being used to share URL’s for example which are machine readable. He found a crop field and mowed the crop such that the semacode was visible from the air. Then he took a picture of the field from an airplane. A machine could read this giant code and get the words “Hello, World!”. You can read his description of the project, or visit his web site. Here is the image overlay showing the Hello World in Google Earth from his aerial photo. The resulting semacode is about 160 meters square, and his image overlay blends very well with the base imagery. Also, I recommend checking out his Flickr photo journal showing the project in progress.
Here are some other examples of interesting things found in Google Earth’s aerial/satellite photos:

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About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I loved the first comment left for the first picture at Flicker. “How long do you think before it shows up on Google Earth?”
    I’d also love to know if it scans on screen – if anyone’s got a code-reader handy it’d be an interesting little experiment.

  2. This one is 470 x 60 meters from 2005:
    The same on Google Maps:
    Have fun

  3. That’s quite amazing, I was thinking the same thing as Daniel..I mean in today’s world this sort of thing could be used for advertising since theirs an active group/community of users looking out for things written out in fields and such that would be displayed on Google Maps. Can you imagine a coke ad or mcdonalds ad being carved or trimmed into a farm field – it would get major views and attention.

  4. wow,

  5. Man, some people have too much time!

  6. patrick says:

    I agree that HelloWorld program is the first program example in a book when you learn new language. However it is not a tradition for decades. Before 1990’s usually first program output programmer’s name on console. For instance PRINT “Patrick”. That is true that old programmers have forgotten and young programmers even don’t know.

  7. Santa Klaus says:

    My first project with every language is, always, write a hexadecimal dumper, not a stupid hello world!. Can you see the advantages?

  8. hehe nice!

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