Fighting Piracy with Big Data

esriby Angela Guess

Nicholas Carlson and Dylan Love of Business Insider report, “Piracy is a serious problem on the world’s seas. A U.S. consultancy called Oceans Beyond Piracy estimates that pirates caused $7 billion of damage in 2011. The good news is that, thanks to technological advances, the problem is getting solved. The International Maritime Bureau reported a 54% drop in piracy incidents during the first half of 2012 versus the same timeframe in 2011. The reason: Government agencies and law enforcement entities have started harnessing big data to prevent piracy before it happens.”

The article continues, “There is a nearly unmanageable amount of data collected as it relates to piracy on the seas. News stories about piracy incidents, interviews with captured pirates, social media posts and emails from pirates, and the like. These all come from a variety of sources that authorities are now pulling together and processing with computers to learn how to better stop pirates. With enough information to pull from, a computer can find patterns or trends that would normally evade humans. And when you find a pattern, you can have a good idea when or where something will happen before it actually happens. A company called Esri runs advanced mapping software that pulls in nuggets of information to help visually point out when and where incidents of piracy are likely to occur in the future.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Esri

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