Skulls, Bones, and Mother Ships

Pirate Map It's probably wrong of me to find a UNOSAT map of recent pirate activity off the coast of Somalia kind of hilarious, but they actually used the skull and cross bones to iconify pirate attacks, and did, in fact, use the phrase "mother ship." I'm sort of ambivalent about the map as a whole. The spatial distribution of attacks is interesting (why so many hijackings around Mogadishu and Mudug?) as are the narratives, but the cartography leaves something to be desired. Land features get an inexplicable amount of detail and attention for a map depicting strictly maritime activity, and the iconography is almost meaningless (we get it, skulls and bones mean pirates). The colors create thematic associations fairly well, but seem primarily focused on the narrative callouts, which are arguably of secondary important to the locations of the attacks. Probably the most interesting data graphic is the bar chart at the bottom, depicting a (significant?) drop in absolute pirate attacks correlating with changes in government. Via and Nick