The Most Connected Camps on the Playa: BurnerMap Analyzed!

Don’t forget to print your personalized Burner Map
BEFORE you leave for the playa!

So we geeked out a bit to visualize the camp data from Burner Map 2013 with the help of our good friend Matatertots. By measuring the number of friendship linkages between each of the camps on our crowd-sourced list (eg. 2014), we processed some aggregate data on the social webs connecting camps which used the app that year.

Big100NetworkPic-bm2013

This plot is of only the most-connected 100 Burner Map camps (of 2,600) due to processing capacity. Sized by degree centrality, which is the volume of links the camps has. Colored by eigenvector centrality, which is similar to degree centrality but takes into account the centrality of the camps a given camp is connected to.

Top 25 camps according to three standard centrality measures:

Eigenvector Centrality Degree Centrality Betweenness Centrality
1 Heart tribe IDEATE Fractal Planet
2 Fractal Planet Heart tribe Heart Tribe
IDEATE Fractal Planet White Ocean
4 Sacred Spaces Village Disorient Sacred Spaces Village
5 Disorient Sacred Spaces Village Disorient
6 camp mystic Chakralicious Nexus
7 Chakralicious Black Hole Camp Contact
8 UFOm Abraxas Pod camp mystic illumination Village
9 Psyclone Kostume Kult camp mystic
10 Kostume Kult The Phage IDEATE
11 Camp Contact Psyclone Chakralicious
12 Bumblepuss Bumblepuss BMIR-FM, Burning Man Information Radio 94.5
13 The Phage Dustfish The Phage
14 Dustfish UFOm Abraxas Pod Camp DDI
15 Playaskool Camp Contact Trifucta
16 Black Hole Black Rock Cantina Shadyvil
17 Shift Trifucta UFOm Abraxas Pod
18 Trifucta Team Shenanimuffins @ The Sunset Trip Tasty Heart Deco
19 illumination Village Shadyvil Ego Ergo Frum
20 Nexus White Ocean Red Lightning
21 Team Shenanimuffins @ The Sunset Trip illumination Village Kostume Kult
22 Uhuru Playaskool Bumblepuss
23 Shadyvil Nexus DISTRIKT
24 Play)A(Skool Camp DDI Love Potion Camp
25 White Ocean Shift Pink Heart

Matatertots plotted in degree centrality vs. eigenvector centrality.  Points lying above the line are camps that are more connected to influential camps than their own level of connectivity would, on average, predict.  Similarly, those lying below the line are camps that tend to be connected less to influential camps than their level of overall connectivity suggests.

  • Above Line: HeartTribe, Camp Mystic, UFOm Abraxis Pod, Fractal Planet, Sacred Spaces, Chakralicious, Camp Contact
  • Below line: IDEATE, Disorient, Black Hole, The Phage, Bumblepuss, Dustfish, Black Rock Cantina

scotterPlot-bm2013

Degree centrality: The sum of all links between the focal camp (the one for which you are calculating the centrality) and other camps. So if I was the only one in Camp Dark Sparkle (CDS) on Burnermap and I was only friends with the four of you guys, CDS would have a degree centrality of 4.

Eigenvector centrality: An eigenvector centrality is like a “spread out” degree centrality, where a focal camp’s eigenvector centrality is higher if the camps it is connected to have high degree centrality.  Having a lot of ties to, say, Fractal Planet would give your camp a higher eigenvector centrality than camps with a similar number of connections to more average-sized camps.

Betweenness centrality: This one is related to information flow through the network.  You can find the shortest path through the network between any two camps.  Betweenness centrality is equal to the proportion of all of these shortest paths that pass through the focal camp.

Eigenvector Centrality – This was the name of an important but obscure sub clause in the Cold War era Warsaw Pact.  Frederick Eigenvector was a minor Slovakian General during the Soviet era known for his love of combining statistics, military strategy and meetings.  At an early meeting of Warsaw Pact representatives in Bratislava in 1958 Eigenvector convinced the other delegates of having all future meetings of the Warsaw Pact in the most central part of any city they agreed to meet in as a defense against a pre-emptive strikes from the West because Nato would want to minimize civilian casualties.  Attendees agreed and inserted it into the Warsaw Pact Framework where it was named ‘Eigenvector Centrality’.  Frederick Eigenvector was assassinated by a Nato Fields Medal winner on the outskirts of Ljubljana in 1962.

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