[Talk-us] Burning Man old data, publicity opportunity

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Mon Aug 5 20:20:11 UTC 2013

Kathleen Danielson wrote:
>Are any OSM folks going to be at Burning Man this year?

Not this year, but I have been 11 times total.  First year:  1995.  I 
consider the playa a second home.

I agree that preserving old BRC-scapes in OSM is cool, but if there 
is confusing overlap with the "present" BRC, the latter should take a 
much higher precedence.  Right now it's sort of "historically 
interesting" for previous years to be displayed, but it is WAY more 
useful to Burners to have a current or upcoming map.  That likely 
means "in the next week or two" as people will be leaving for the 
event as early as now (if you are part of the city-erection group) or 
as soon as the third week in August (if you are a "participant"). 
For those who do want a map while there, it would be good to have 
PDFs, .osm files, upload chips in a Lambertus/daveh Garmin format, 
etc. at least a week before the event starts.  Thanks for doing that, 
Mikel and/or Jeff (if you do, that is -- and the sooner the better!)

I agree with Clay that Burning Man is a terrific OSM opportunity for 
all the reasons he lists.  It IS realistic.

Yes, Elliott, that's it.  Nice pictures!

By the way, the tagging, density, accuracy and "flavor" of how OSM 
captures the feel of BRC is quite accurate.  I would hardly change a 
thing (except the names of the streets, camps and art each year).

Honestly, the immense amount of thought, design and hard work that it 
takes to be able to orient yourself in a city that exists for a week 
in the middle of nowhere, then disappears, is nothing short of 
amazing:  the planning, erection of street signs, and so on.  It is 
beautiful to experience the wonderful blend of "intentional urban 
desert community" that is Burning Man.  To marry that to OSM each 
year on an ongoing basis is a great opportunity for BOTH projects. 
Somewhere, somehow, the right people might talk to the right people 
and get OSM to become "the official map of Burning Man," though such 
"sponsorships" are sort of rare or even unheard of.  But both 
projects have a similar spirit and I see every reason to believe this 
is possible.

I tell you what:  next time I Burn, I'll offer to upload to any user 
of a Garmin device one of daveh's OSM map chip images from my laptop 
(we're fully solar-powered when/as we go -- but bring your own blank 
microSD card).  After all, Burning Man is a "gift economy."  Having 
the ability to navigate via OSM on a handheld GPS the week while 
you're there is an awesome addition to what is already a mind-blowing 
and unique experience.  There is no cellular service, so such 
"hard-wired" (well, "firmware-wired") map solutions are literally the 
only game in town.  Except for paper maps and street signs, of 
course.  Be careful at night!  (Oh, the nights!)

(known as "Solar Steve" while living at our second home, Black Rock City)

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