Modern Pirate Maps – Avoiding The X Might Be Your Best Option

Pirate maps have long been the a source of intrigue but modern day treasure hunters more often use advance technology like remote operated vehicles and sonar systems than maps stamped with an X. Neverless, pirate maps have survived to modern day and are equally intriguing as those found in archives… but they have a different purpose. Here are a few modern day pirate maps but remember dead men tell no tales and there is no gold to be found on these maps… well unless your in blackwater.


This map shows all the piracy and armed robbery incidents reported to the Piracy Reporting Centre during 2008. This division of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) works to protect the integrity of international trade by seeking out fraud and malpractice. The organization combines traditional reporting tools like a piracy hotline with a wide variety of IT sources to keep member informed of dangerous situation in real time.

In adition to their live piracy map you can also find RSS information feeds as well as updates on the latest attcks worldwide.

UNOSAT Maps, etc…
UNOSAT Piracy Map

This map by UNOSAT, the UN Institute for Training and Research’s (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme, illustrates reported incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden from January to 30 September 2008. Satellite imagery has been used in this analysis for the identification of suspected hijacked vessel locations and UNOSAT has combined this imagery with public media reports. The result is the map above which highlights the most troublesome incidents with an intensity color scale. You can find the hi resolution version of the map HERE.

UNOSAT Identification Of Hijacked Vessels

In addiiton to mapping information UNOSAT also helps athourities identify hijacked ships. This map was developed in response to a UN Security Council and IMO resolution calling for continued monitoring of Somali pirate activity. A range of satellite data were used in this analysis for the identification of coastal settlements and anchorage sites of suspected hijacked vessels. Click HERE for the hi resolution version.

Here is a video describing the development of these maps:


2008 Piracy Infographic

Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These are the types of images you often find in newspapers and magazines. The above image is an infographic produced by the Russian News & Information Agency illustrating the economic impact of pirate attacks.

This graphic shows the pirate attack on the tanker Sirius Star
This graphic shows the attack on the super tanker M/V Sirius Star which was hundereds of miles from the coast of Somalia as it headed south to round the Cape Of Good Hope.

Oil Choke Points
Oil Choke Points - Shipping Routes

This map from NewScientist clearly shows the choke points in the shipping of oil. Along with the coast of Somalia, the Straight Of Malacca is also shown. Click HERE for the full interactive version of this map.

More Maps, Charts And Data

Have you found an interesting piracy graphic online? If so please leave a comment below linking to the resource.