The new map, named the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (or REMA for short), was created by researchers at Ohio State University led by professor Ian Howat. His desire to create the incredibly detailed map was the simple fact that, up until now, maps of Antarctica were just plain bad.
To construct the map, Howat and his team had to sift through an immense amount of data that was constantly being gathered by satellites cruising over the continent. To aid in piecing together the various high-resolution images, the researchers built a tool that matched the images up, overlapping edges and aligning it to be as accurate as possible.
The end result is a map that is not only incredibly sharp, but also extremely large in terms of file size. The full map’s size actually tops 150 terabytes. Yes, you read that correctly. Assuming the smartphone in your pocket holds around 64 GB of data, you’d need over 2,300 of them to hold the amount of data in this one map image.