Originally posted by Orbx founder John Venema on July 17th, it appears as though Orbx are busy looking into ways in reducing the overall file size of their TrueEarth US Washington product.
Orbx has acknowledged that whilst the price of HDD/SDDs are reducing, users may not want to have hundreds of gigs of data for imagery sat on their hardrives. To assist with that, Orbx has been busy finding ways to reduce the file size, but keep the same overall quality users would expect. The imagery quality currently used throughout the entire region is ZL17. However, Orbx have figured out that dropping the overall quality in less frequented areas to ZL16 means extremely similar overall quality, but a drastic reduction in download and file size.
John specifically mentioned that places such as Seattle, the northern Olympics, Lower Vancouver Island and all the major cities will still have the high-quality ZL17 imagery data, but rural places such as forests, deserts, etc will be reduced, but still have the appearance of good details.
To demonstrate, John shared some images to compare.
All of the areas will still be covered in autogen to the same level of detail seen right now in TrueEarth US Washington.
The difference in image quality can be seen in the few images above, but the file reduction is looking to be around 75%. Dropping to approximately 50-60 gigs install compared to the 210gb it is today.
Breif update: A member of the Orbx team reached out to inform us that all of this is totally optional to the user depending on their desires.
Orbx are working to release Oregon with this new system and in the future update Washington in the same way.
You can check out the full thread on the Orbx forums and also join the discussion.