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Original author: 
Sean Gallagher


A frame of Timelapse's view of the growth of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Google, USGS

This story has been updated with additional information and corrections provided by Google after the interview.

In May, Google unveiled Earth Engine, a set of technologies and services that combine Google's existing global mapping capabilities with decades of historical satellite data from both NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS). One of the first products emerging from Earth Engine is Timelapse—a Web-based view of changes on the Earth's surface over the past three decades, published in collaboration with Time magazine.

The "Global Timelapse" images are also viewable through the Earth Engine site, which allows you to pan and zoom to any location on the planet and watch 30 years of change, thanks to 66 million streaming video tiles. The result is "an incontrovertible description of what's happened on our planet due to urban growth, climate change, et cetera," said Google Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives Alfred Spector.

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Big data analytics often means big challenges when it comes to data protection. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're working in these environments.

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s3_growth_2012_q1_1

Amazon has released some fairly impressive numbers showcasing the growth of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) over the years. By the end of the first quarter of 2012, there were 905 billion objects stored, and the service routinely handles 650,000 requests per second for those objects, with peaks that go even higher. To put that in perspective, that’s up from 262 billion objects stored just two years ago and up from 762 billion by Q4 2011.

Or maybe it’s more impressive when you look further back: 2.9 billion in 2006, for example. And how fast is it growing? Well, says Amazon, every day, over a a billion objects are added. That’s how fast.

The S3 object counts grows even when Amazon recently added ways to make it easier for objects to leave, including through object expiration and multi-object deletion. The objects are added via S3 APIsAWS Import/Export, the AWS Storage Gateway, various backup tools, and through Direct Connect pipes.

Note, that the above chart shows Q4 data up until this year, as Amazon only has data up to Q1. So that’s not any sort of slowdown you’re seeing there – by Q4 2012, that number is going to be much, much higher.

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