1. Library of Congress
Not even the digital age can prevent the world's largest library from ending up on this list. The Library of Congress (LC) boasts more than 130 million items ranging from cook books to colonial newspapers to U.S. government proceedings. It is estimated that the text portion of the Library of Congress would comprise 20 terabytes of data. The LC expands at a rate of 10,000 items per day and takes up close to 530 miles of shelf space -- talk about a lengthy search for a book.
If you're researching a topic and cannot find the right information on the internet, the Library of Congress should be your destination of choice. For users researching U.S. history, around 5 million pieces from the LC's collection can be found online at American Memory.
2. Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is in the business of collecting and distributing information on people, places and things, so it should come as no surprise that they end up on this list. Although little is known about the overall size of the CIA's database, it is certain that the agency has amassed a great deal of information on both the public and private sectors via field work and digital intrusions.
Portions of the CIA database available to the public include the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room, The World Fact Book, and various other intelligence related publications. The FOIA library includes hundreds of thousands of official (and occasionally ultra-sensitive) U.S. government documents made available to the public electronically. The library grows at a rate of 100 articles per month and contains topics ranging from nuclear development in Pakistan to the type of beer available during the Korean War. The World Fact Book boasts general information on every country and territory in the world including maps, population numbers, military capabilities and more.
Imagine having to search through a phone book containing a billion pages for a phone number. When the employees at ChoicePoint want to know something about you, they have to do just that. If printed out, the ChoicePoint database would extend to the moon and back 77 times.
ChoicePoint is in the business of acquiring information about the American population -- addresses and phone numbers, driving records, criminal histories, etc., ChoicePoint has it all. For the most part, the data found in ChoicePoint's database is sold to the highest bidders, including the American government.
But how much does ChoicePoint really know? In 2002 ChoicePoint was able to help authorities solve a serial rapist case in Philadelphia and Fort Collins after producing a list of 6 potential suspects by data mining their DNA and personal records databases. In 2001 ChoicePoint was able to identify the remains of World Trade Center victims by matching DNA found in bone fragments to the information provided by victim's family members in conjunction to data found in their databases.
Sprint is one of the world's largest telecommunication companies as it offers mobile services to more than 53 million subscribers, and prior to being sold in May of 2006, offered local and long distance land line packages.
Large telecommunication companies like Sprint are notorious for having immense databases to keep track of all of the calls taking place on their network. Sprint's database processes more than 365 million call detail records and operational measurements per day. The Sprint database is spread across 2.85 trillion database rows making it the database with the largest number of rows (data insertions if you will) in the world. At its peak, the database is subjected to more than 70,000 call detail record insertions per second.
5. World Data Centre for Climate
If you had a 35 million euro super computer lying around what would you use it for? The stock market? Building your own internet? Try extensive climate research -- if there's a machine out there that has the answer for global warming, this one might be it. Operated by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and German Climate Computing Centre, The World Data Centre for Climate (WDCC) is the largest database in the world.
The WDCC boasts 220 terabytes of data readily accessible on the web including information on climate research and anticipated climatic trends, as well as 110 terabytes (or 24,500 DVD's) worth of climate simulation data. To top it off, six petabytes worth of additional information are stored on magnetic tapes for easy access. How much data is six petabyte you ask? Try 3 times the amount of ALL the U.S. academic research libraries contents combined.
According to wheelhouse.com Source of photo: internet