The BBC is reporting that NASA and the Japanese Trade ministry has completed topographically mapping 99% of the earths surface.
The awesome thing? The sample rate is 30m! Let’s do some math.
Surface area of earth: 5.10072 × 10^14 m^2
99% of earths surface area: 5.0497128 × 10^14 m^2
If there is a sample taken every 30 meters, than there should be approx 1.6832376 × 10^15 samples.
That’s a pretty huge database! Granted, you can make some assumptions. For example, that the majority of the earth is covered in water and thus has an elevation of 0m. So no need to keep track of the elevation of every point on the ocean.
The great thing about this new data is that aviation databases for terrain avoidance can be increased in accuracy!