Mapping piracy

IMB Piracy map (2006)

The “International Maritime Bureau”:http://www.icc-ccs.org/imb/overview.php has a “live piracy map”:http://www.icc-ccs.org/extra/display.php?yr=2007 (based on the Google Maps API) which plots attacks and attempted attacks reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. Each marker details type of attack, date and vessel type. The archives go back to 2005. The maps give you a good sense of the problem areas, helpful for when you are planning your next yacht outing around the world. Stay safe dear readers!

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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13 Responses to Mapping piracy

  1. Jason says:

    Yaar, indeed.
    Speaking of Google’s foray into mapmaking software, Wired has an excellent article on Google Earth’s origins and so interesting examples of how ordinary people are becoming mapmakers in their own right:

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/15-07/ff_maps?currentPage=all

  2. Curzon says:

    Very interesting. The two hot spots are the Malaca Strait, and also West Africa, which I hadn’t heard before but wasn’t that surprised to see.

    Also interesting to see the high number of “attempts” off the Horn of Africa (amateurs!) and all pirate attempts successful in the strait of Malacca (nowhere to run).

  3. Mark says:

    It is our enemy the state the prohibits arms on ships. Pirates would be less of a problem if not for government. With the real estate collapse, hopefully the deflationary depression will rid us of the nation-state.

  4. a517dogg says:

    Do you know if anyone has mapped American casualties in Iraq?

  5. Younghusband says:

    Not sure about anything based on Google, but “this Iraq casualty map”:http://www.obleek.com/iraq/ was making the rounds a while ago. Also, “icasualties.org”:http://icasualties.org has data on the “homestates of American casualties”:http://icasualties.org/oif/USMap.aspx which somebody turned into a “Google Earth file”:http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2005/11/war_casualties.html a while ago. I am not sure if it has been updated or not. I bet if you did some surfing you could find something up to date for gMaps.

  6. a517dogg says:

    Thanks for the links.

    … You wouldn’t happen to know if there are any similar breakdowns of casualties done by mission, do you? i.e., patrol, QRF, house-to-house, escorting convoys, etc.

  7. Antwerp? Really? An armed theft from a bulk carrier in February 2006, apparently. I also notice attacks/attempts near California, Gibraltar, Argentina etc. These isolated events outside the Gap are probably purely opportunistic, however.

    I have also heard of attacks on yachts near Albania, France and Italy, prior to the years covered by these maps. Piracy seems to be down worldwide, but continued geographical expansion of this time of crime would be a bad sign.

    As for Oceania, there have been instances of piracy off Papua New Guinea and the Solomons, with the last attack taking place against a yacht in 2004.

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  9. snow says:

    Looking at the map, it doesn’t seem to be a lot in perspective of the huge number of ships plying the seas at any one time. At the same time, it is a serious problem for the shipping industry which is crucial to moving goods and energy supplies. I think I’d be nervous piloting one of these ships in some of the more dangerous areas. They aren’t allowed to have weapons on these ships? I would want to at least have a few personal weapons on board, just in case, on cruise liners and yachts, too. And why not a few heavy duty weapons to dissuade some of the heavier aremed ones?

  10. alec says:

    So Life Aquatic: based on a true story?

  11. a517dogg says:

    There is a case of a cruise ship that used a sonic weapon to fend off pirates.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1859626,00.html

    I know DefenseTech covered it but I can’t find the story.

  12. TDL says:

    I wonder if there is a map of the world’s deep water navies and how they overlap these problem areas. Also, I know some British insurance companies were building out their own navies in order to deal with the growing threat of piracy, anyone know the status on that?

    Regards,
    TDL