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top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates
A machine gun is seen on a sandbag on a boat off the Atlantic coast in Nigeria's Bayelsa state on December 19, 2013 to ward off a surge in pirate attacks.Stringer/REUTERS

Top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

While piracy may seem contained inside the plots of popular movies, the crime still happens with surprising frequency across the globe today.

Piracy cost the world over $1 billion in 2015, according to the latest State of Maritime Piracy report.

Just last year, thousands of people were attacked, and hundreds of them were held hostage — many for a hefty ransom.

To help the US Navy, shipping companies, and law enforcement agencies keep their vessels safe around the globe, international mapping company ESRI built a technology called ArcGIS that can predict pirate attacks:The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips" was based on a true story, after all."Captain Phillips"

Pirates may rely on the element of surprise, but they’re people, too — and people are surprisingly predictable.

International mapping companyESRI capitalizes on this fact with its ArcGIS technology that predicts pirate attacks.

The US Navy, shipping companies, and law enforcement agencies use it around the globe to keep their ships safe in troubled waters.

ESRI pulls together reams of data to create a continuously updated map of where it’s likely ships could get attacked by pirates:

Curt Hammill, a retired captain who spent 27 years in the Navy, now works with ArcGIS for ESRI. He told Tech Insider about how this crazy technology works.

Information on where the pirates are, where the ships are, and what the weather is like in the area, as well as data on previous incidents identifying pirate hotspots, can predict with surprising accuracy whether a boat could be attacked by pirates.

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates Rebecca Harrington Aug. 5, 2016, 10:09 AM 96,744 FACEBOOK LINKEDIN TWITTER EMAIL PRINT Tom Hanks Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips" was based on a true story, after all."Captain Phillips" While piracy may seem contained inside the plots of popular movies, the crime still happens with surprising frequency across the globe today. Piracy cost the world over $1 billion in 2015, according to the latest State of Maritime Piracy report. Just last year, thousands of people were attacked, and hundreds of them were held hostage — many for a hefty ransom. To help the US Navy, shipping companies, and law enforcement agencies keep their vessels safe around the globe, international mapping company ESRI built a technology called ArcGIS that can predict pirate attacks. ESRI put together the top 10 places boats might be attacked by pirates, based on data from July 2015 to July 2016. Here they are: View As: One Page Slides 10. Celebes Sea: 14 acts of piracy

Pirate attacks so far in 2016. ICC Commercial Crime Services

“If you think about it, wind, waves, and sea state — all those things are truly observable by the pirate standing on the beach,” Hammill said. “With his limited resources, he’s able to draw that data into his nautical mind and make a decision whether or not he’s going to risk it to go out and pirate. If that data is something he can sense, then it’s something we can sense, or — even better — predict.”

Captains can use the ArcGIS to adjust their course, or even just increase their speed. Many pirates sail smaller boats that can’t keep up to massive commercial or military ships, Hammill said.

A billion dollar threat

The technology could save companies and governments a lot of money — and lives.

Piracy cost the world over $1 billion in 2015, according to the latest State of Maritime Piracyreport.

Thousands of people were attacked, and hundreds of them were held hostage, many for ransom.

In the last few years, pirates would simply hijack oil to sell it on the black market. But the low price of oil has sparked an increase in ransom demands, since pirates can make more money that way.

10. Celebes Sea: 14 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Malaysian soldiers on speedboats approach the jetty of Kapalai Resort, during their patrol near the Malaysian island of Sipadan in the Celebes Sea on March 13, 2007.David Loh/REUTERS

9. North Yellow Sea: 16 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

South Korean naval sailors stand on its floating base as the sun rises off Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea on November 28, 2010.Jo Yong-Hak/REUTERS

8. Arabian Sea: 22 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

A US sailor from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd greets a crew member of the Iranian-flagged dhow Al Molai after rescuing the fishing vessel from pirates in the Arabian Sea on January 6, 2012.REUTERS/U.S. Navy

7. Java Sea: 24 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Indonesian navy, US Navy and US Coast Guard ships steam through the Java Sea on June 6, 2012 conducting ship formation exercises to enhance force readiness.Wikimedia Commons

6. Bay of Bengal: 30 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Members of the Indian Coast Guard simulate chasing mock pirates during an Indo-Japan joint coast guard exercise in the waters of the Bay of Bengal on January 29, 2012.

5. Malacca Strait: 36 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Maritime police approach a Japanese oil tanker on April 23, 2014 that was raided by armed pirates and abducted three crew members at Port Klang, outside of Kuala Lumpur.Samsul Said/REUTERS

4. Caribbean Sea: 38 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

A woman talks on her phone while watching the sun set behind a cruise ship in Trinidad on April 18, 2009.Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

3. Singapore Strait: 60 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Commercial shipping passes through the Singapore Strait on February 6, 2012.Toby Melville/REUTERS

2. South China Sea: 62 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

Members of the Philippine Coast Guard anti-terrorist unit board a cargo vessel to engage mock pirates who hijacked the vessel during a combined maritime law enforcement exercise at a bay in Manila on May 6, 2015.Romeo Ranoco/REUTERS

1. Gulf of Guinea: 116 acts of piracy

top 10 places where you could be attacked by pirates

A machine gun is seen on a sandbag on a boat off the Atlantic coast in Nigeria’s Bayelsa state on December 19, 2013 to ward off a surge in pirate attacks.Stringer/REUTERS

 

Other, more peaceful, applications

While pirate-mapping is one of the cooler applications, GIS technology can help tons of other industries, too. “GIS” stands for Geographic Information System, which is a fancy way to say using gobs of data and other information to map probabilities.

“This stuff is used in New York City to predict crime,” Hammill said. “It’s used by FedEx to reduce the amount of diesel fuel that they use every day delivering their packages. This stuff is used by Wendy’s to identify the best places to plop down a franchise that is profitable.”

With big data, you really can predict anything these days — from package deliveries to pirate attacks.

 

by Rebecca Harrington and techinsider.io

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