You know what’s cooler than a doomsday vault for storing the world’s most valuable data? A doomsday vault for storing the world’s most valuable data that looks like the villainous lair from a James Bond movie, and opened for business this month.
What we’re referring to is the newly opened Arctic World Archive, a data vault which shares a mountain headquarters with Global Seed Vault, a giant archive of the world’s plant seeds. Located in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, it promises to be the safest place for your data on the entire planet.
“We’ve developed a unique new technology for the long-term preservation of digital data for future generations,” Katrine Thomsen, project manager for the Arctic World Archive, told Digital Trends. “We needed a really secure place, which turned out to be a mine in Svalbard. In the mine, there are perfect conditions, between negative-5 and negative-10 degrees Celsius, and with the right amount of humidity.”
The technology being used by the Piql, the archiving company which is running the vault, involves writing data onto ultra-durable photosensitive film, much like a massive QR code. By not only not being online but no longer even in digital form, the data is safe from cyber attacks — while the former coal mine bunker is deep enough to survive nuclear attacks, too.
“When you want to retrieve it at some point in the future, you simply scan the film using one of our scanners or use some magnifying light and a means of capturing it like a camera, and you get your data back to re-create the program,” Thomsen continued.
Already, Piql is receiving some fascinating material for archiving — such as history documents relating to the constitution in Brazil, as well as historical documents from Mexico, which date back all the way to the Incas. That doesn’t mean the company isn’t available to private companies or citizens, though. If you’re so inclined, you can store your precious snaps of the cat wearing his adorable Christmas coat.
“We can store any kind of data, from pictures and sound to text,” Thomsen said. “When we receive data from someone, which can be sent to us either over the internet or through some other storage method, we run it through our software and print it on film. In the long-term, our solution is much more affordable than other digital storage solutions, where people have to migrate the data all the time.”
Our only question now is how long it takes for this place to show up as a location in a future Dan Brown novel? We give it a couple of years — tops.