In the Rhine Valley of Switzerland, there momentarily blooms the largest flower word in the world. Violet-blue Phacelia plants form the 235 metre-long word RHEINHOF with letters reaching 40 metres in size in a grain field. In addition, corn plants have also been planted and their growth already shows an even larger recognisable number 25. This represents the 25-year celebration of the existence of both the Rheinhof Agricultural Education and Advisory Centre at the Swiss border of Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Writing mapping data from a distance of 20,200 kilometres
The writing was transferred into the landscape from a distance of 20,200 km. The letters were read into a GPS System 500 from Leica Geosystems and, with the help of the Navstar GPS satellites circling the earth at 20,200 km, they were transferred at centimetre accuracy to the Rheintal landscape. The Swiss GPS surveying systems hold the position of world leaders in the field of surveying. These instruments permitted a centimetre-exact staking-out of the letter outlines, which the sowing machine of the Rheinhof Agricultural School could then easily follow.
As the crops forming the word Rheinhof and the anniversary number of 25, bloom – a colour play will develop. While currently green, the surrounding cornfield will change to yellow, and as the crops of the anniversary number grow, the plants will first appear green and later in autumn become yellow.
This is only a small test field in a far more comprehensive “LandArte” Project. The project will see several of over 5-10 hectares large plant pictures between Sargans and Lake Constance. These displays, arranged by artists and farmers in the year 2003 and dubbed an ‘Astronaut Art Gallery’, will celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the Canton St Gallen within one of the largest plains of Switzerland. Nature, art and the most modern technology will be united. The world’s first ‘Astronaut Art Gallery’ in the alpine Rhine Valley, where Lake Constance and the Rhine River meet with Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany, will be visible from the International Space Station (ISS). Digital flight image sensors from Leica Geosystems will document this interaction of nature, art and technology for the 3D-view with the internationally leading Erdas remote sensing software Imagine(TM).