Google Earth Database Consists of Hundreds of TeraBytes

The Google Librarian Center (a blog by Google for Librarians) recently posted an interview with Mark Aubin, Software Engineer for Google. More improtantly, Mark was one of the founders of Keyhole (the company which wrote the program which was acquired by Google and turned into Google Earth). One of the interesting things is Mark indicates the “Powers of 10” flipbook was what started the idea leading to Google Earth. Check out OgleEarth’s comments on other founders comments on the origins of Google Earth.
Mark Aubin goes on to comment on the enormous exponential growth of the Google Earth database since he started. He says Google’s photos are not just satellite and plane-based aerial photography, but also photography from balloons, model planes, and even kites! He also goes on to say that not only is there a lot of imagery data, but when you combine all the layers of information including the public data (for example the Google Earth Community collections), Google Earth’s data sources amount to “hundreds of terabytes”. That’s 100,000,000,000,000s of bytes. Amazing!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Ruliance says:

    SO, say if there was a Generation Space Ship heading out to explore the galaxy and the wanted to download or transfer the ENTIRE google earth data base onto its onboard computer for obvious teaching and reference needs, what would be the data capacity necessary to do so?

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