At work my collegue and I, we are the ones working on the visual databases for the simulators, are quite well known for our excessive harddisk usage on our development systems. When we are using satelite images in these visual database, it is not that weird to have a few GB of images that we need to process. For example to cover the Balkan area or the entire country of the Netherlands. And then I am not even talking about high resolution images (that would increase the amount of diskspace used even more).
During the processing of these images into the actual databsae, we usually have to reproject them a little or apply some other tweaks on them and of course the final tool creating the database also generates some temp files worth a few more GB of data. So I guess you can imagine that we have to clean our harddisk quite often to keep the system running (from experience I know that 0 kB left of harddisk space does not really work well). And I guess the system administrator of our department has already gotten used to our questions for more diskspace.
And now the same seems the be happening at home with FsX. With the increased resolution of the terrain system in FsX the amount of data to process also goes up of course. I did a little test with high resolution images around Schiphol airport (16 cm resolution). Those photo alone were already a few GB worth of data, but when I added some intermediate files due to the conversion from the Dutch RD coordinate system to WGS84 and mosaicing of the different images into a few larger ones, the harddisk usage for this little test went up already. Now, after compiling the BGL files for FsX as well, the entire test project uses about 50 GB of diskspace (of which the final BGL files are only about 6 GB). Luckily my new PC at home has a big enough harddisk (for the moment).
With the changes to the FsX terrain system, I find it interesting to see that the process of scenery creation comes a step closer to the GIS data I have become familiar with at work already. The new shp2vec tool makes use of shapefiles and resample can process GeoTIFFs. Quite interesting developments and it shows that the difference between “professional” visual database and the FsX “entertainment” world is not that big.