There is surprisingly little information on the size of Google Maps online, however I found a source that quoted 20 Petabytes from 2012. I estimate that this is about one million times the amount of 'data' sent by the US postal service each day, or about one thousands times the volume of data that Facebook deals with each day. Armed with this information, and the capacity of a floppy disk I went to work.
Now there is some confusion in the computing industry as to whether MB and KB are base 10 or base 2 prefixes. Sometimes they seem to be used interchangeably when they are clearly different number bases, however for arguments sake I have taken a 1.44MB disk capacity to be 1457664 bytes. For simplicity I have ignored any capacity used by the disk filing system allocation table.
There is little argument as to the height of a floppy disk: 3mm.
So if you stored all of Google Maps onto floppy disk, how high would your floppy disk mountain be?
Well, by my calculations you will create a stack that extents four-thousand, eight-hundred times higher than Mount Everest, or 11% of the distance to the moon.
|My own floppy disk mountain. This doesn't even come close.|
Either way come back soon for some new nerdy stuff, or if you are still here, you might like to read about the Adventures of Sir Eric the Unready, or just hack some BASIC code together.
This blog is also available on floppy disk. Please send a self-addressed envelope...