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Smithville, Texas

Giant 'Luecke' Signature

A Texas landowner spelled out his name with three miles of trees, a giant signature that's been used by NASA to evaluate satellite imagery. 

Flying above eastern Texas from Houston to Austin, air passengers gaze down to find a giant word spelled out with over three miles of trees, each letter stretching thousands of feet in each direction. 

This humongous geoglyph, spelling out the last name of local landowner Jimmie Luecke, is the world’s largest signature. (Proving once again that everything is, in fact, bigger in Texas.) Created originally out of simple egocentrism, the giant “Luecke” of eastern Texas wound up proving quite useful, albeit unintentionally.

The giant signature has been used by the U.S. government to analyze its satellite imagery. According to a statement released by NASA, “by clearing forest so that a pattern would be visible to landing aircraft, a landowner outside Austin, Texas created a target that is also useful for evaluating spatial resolution of astronaut photographs.”

It is possible that the geoglyph serves an agricultural purpose as well. The use of strips of trees to divide pieces of farmland, a process known as alley cropping, is commonly used to protect the soil from erosion. 

Jimmie Luecke, it seems, has made a name for himself in more ways than one.