Leave traces and changing the earth's surface

From Finland to South Africa, from China to California: test drives in different, climatically extreme regions are part of the everyday work of a test engineer. This was also the case for our employee Mirko Neumann.

One of the trials that particularly stuck in his memory took place in Tenerife in 2017. “I have a soft spot for looking at the world from above. Thanks to Google Maps, it’s quite straightforward,” he says. “At some point, I thought it would be nice to change the surface of the earth so that this would also be visible on Google Maps.”

In Tenerife, he remembered that idea. “I was traveling with my colleague Wojciech Gora in the experimental vehicle. At lunchtime, we reached the town of Abades and the lighthouse there. We stopped for a break and saw that not far from the lighthouse there were words made of stones in the sand.”

A quick check on the smartphone confirmed the assumption: the words could also be recognized on the satellite images in Google Maps. The leisurely lunch break spontaneously turned into a sweaty marketing activity for the two test engineers, as they began to create a word from the stones lying around: I A V. And lo and behold: some time later, they were able to recognize their work on Google Maps. “With the IAV lettering, we wanted to create a lasting memory of the test drive. And yes, of course, also fulfill the small wish to ‘change the surface of the earth’.”

Since a few months the lettering is no longer visible on Google Maps, presumably Google removed it from the satellite images.

Who wants to know more precisely and plans to go to Tenerife: Here you can find the place.

IAV Logo in Tenerife, Spain
IAV’s logo in Tenerife, Spain