The volume of data in a single file or file system can be described by a unit called a byte. However, data volumes can become very large when dealing with Earth satellite data. Below is a table to explain data volume units (credit Roy Williams, Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Insitute of Technology).
- Kilo- means 1,000; a Kilobyte is one thousand bytes.
- Mega- means 1,000,000; a Megabyte is a million bytes.
- Giga- means 1,000,000,000; a Gigabyte is a billion bytes.
- Tera- means 1,000,000,000,000; a Terabyte is a trillion bytes.
- Peta- means 1,000,000,000,000,000; a Petabyte is 1,000 Terabytes.
- Exa- means 1,000,000,000,000,000,000; an Exabyte is 1,000 Petabytes.
- Zetta- means 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000; a Zettabyte is 1,000 Exabytes.
- Yotta- means 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000; a Yottabyte is 1,000 Zettabytes.
Examples of Data Volumes
||a paragraph of a text document
||a small novel
||Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
||all the X-rays in a large hospital
||half the contents of all US academic research libraries
(the ASDC holds roughly this much data)
||about one fifth of the words people have ever spoken
||as much information as there are grains of sand on all the world’s beaches
||as much information as there are atoms in 7,000 human bodies