Bing Maps, the major alternative to Google's mapping service, has received a massive update of satellite imagery today. The update consists of 165TB of new data, which, incredibly, is more data than all previous updates combined. Prior to this update, Bing had only received a running total of 129TB of satellite imagery.
The new imagery includes satellite imagery as well as global ortho photography. The update covers parts of Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia, and, amazingly, covers almost 38 million square kilometers of the Earth. "Just this month, Bing Imagery Technologies hit a significant milestone by completing 100% of aerial photography over the United States," the companys says. "The photography in Europe is slated to be finished by this fall and all updated imagery should be published by the end of 2012."
Let's take a step back and realize just how much data it would take for imagery that covered the entire Earth. It was 165TB for only 38 million square kilometers of area. The Earth has a surface area of around 510 square kilometers, so a couple of quick calculations later, we yield that it would require around 2,200TBs. Wow.