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Issue 1 January 2012

Copper keeper: Advanced data visualization helps curtail copper thefts

Like gold, the price of copper has skyrocketed in recent years. But the increase in copper demand that is fueling the rising prices has become problematic for many businesses, including energy companies. And for some, one of the ways they’re fighting back is through the use of advanced data visualization tools.  This satellite image of Washington D.C. with analytic hotspot overlays is an example of an advanced data visualization that uses geospatial data and analytics to visualize certain patterns. The image shown here was created by GeoEye Inc. based on information collected in April 2010. “We, like everybody else in our business for the past few years, have had a growing and chronic problem with the theft of copper,” said Dan Jenkins, director of corporate security for Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources Inc., an electric and natural gas utility that serves customers in 15 states. Building construction and electrical and electronic products -- both of which the electricity industry invests heavily in -- are the top two end ...

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