We listened with interest to this recent ‘Science Friday’ interview on America’s own National Public Radio (NPR) station. Based on a report published by the Journal of Science, the interview with Dr. Martin Hilbert looks at all things data.  All 600 exabytes (think 600 followed by 20 zeros for the number in bytes) of it, that is!

Dr. Hilbert and his University of Southern California colleagues have estimated that there are currently about 600 exabytes of data stored on earth – and this figure is doubling every three years.   This acceleration in data accumulation basically comes down to the growing amounts of data generated by technology: computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.

If all of this information was held in books, the entire area of the US would be covered in 13 layers of them, literally drowning the country in data!  Dr Hilbert is quick to add, however, that all technology has a shelf life, so this information won’t be around or stored forever.  We still think a quick call to Active Navigation is in order – we could certainly help sort through the rubbish make sense of some of the mess!

For further data facts ranging from the fun to the downright obscure — have a listen yourself: