World’s largest “Hello World” program written in field.

October 3rd, 2008 | Categories: general math, walking randomly | Tags:

While reading 360’s recent post about crop circles, I was reminded of something similar that caught my attention a while back – this:

What you are looking at is the phrase “Hello, world!” encoded in Semacode and mown into a wheat field. Measuring 160m x 160m, it is possibly the largest “Hello, World!” program every written. It was made back in 2007 by German programmer bernhard hopfengärtner who aimed (and succeeded) to get it included in aerial photography taken by Google Earth.

The Challenge

Now I have no idea if this is possible but that does not stop me asking the question. Can anyone come up with a program that takes the above image as input, parse the semacode and see if it really does print “Hello World.”

I guess something like MATLAB would have some of the required functionality in its image toolbox but I haven’t yet googled to see if there is a suitable open source Semacode algorithm that you could feed the image into.

Have fun!

  1. Henna
    November 18th, 2008 at 17:23
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I don’t have a solution if the original image must be used as input. However, I constructed the matrix with MATLAB (the DataMatrix is upside down, but once rotated, it can be translated) and scanned it using a camera phone with barcode reader; the result:
    Hello, world!

    Of course, this can be verified easily with DataMatrix generator, too.

  2. Mike Croucher
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:22
    Reply | Quote | #2

    That’s great Henna, Thanks :)