The latest Digital Universe report by IDC found that the total amount of online data adds up to over 487 billion gigabytes, if this were printed and bound into books it would form a stock that would stretch from our planet to Pluto 10 times! At the time of the first Digital Universe report in 2007, world's total digital content was 161 billion gigabytes and it's expected to double in size over the next 18 months.
At 487bn gigabytes (GB), if the world's rapidly expanding digital content were printed and bound into books it would form a stack that would stretch from Earth to Pluto 10 times. As more people join the digital tribe – increasingly through internet-enabled mobile phones – the world's digital output is increasing at such a rate that those stacks of books are rising quicker than Nasa's fastest space rocket.
The large files from digital cameras and the world's burgeoning army of surveillance cameras account for a significant proportion of the digital universe. The rapid increase in so-called machine to machine communications – such as when an Oyster card is touched on a reader or a satellite navigation system requests information about its location – has seen the number of individual digital creation events balloon, despite the economic recession.