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Burning Man Gets Its Own iPhone App [Updated]

No, it’s not a spoof. An app called “iBurn” really will help iPhone-toting Burners locate themselves and plan their days at this year’s art festival in the Nevada desert — and now it’s live in the iTunes store.

Burning Man Gets Its Own iPhone App [Updated]
iBurn app

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Black Rock City (aka the Burning Man festival) is a gargantuan sprawl of temporary urban structures on an ancient lake bed, featuring more than 40,000 burners-in-residence and hundreds of odd activities going on at any given time. You could plan events ahead of time or wing it once you arrive, sure. But why make things more difficult than they have to be? The iBurn 2010 app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod has you covered.

iBurn app

Black Rock City does have its own Wi-Fi network, as befits this playground for techies, but reception is spotty. So the app is designed to work offline. After you download it, iBurn automatically caches Burning Man schedule information and maps of the Black Rock playa for later use. The handy features include buttons to geo-locate yourself on the playa, find the center of the city, get directions and descriptions for individual events, and save your favorites. Now there’s no way you’ll miss the nuclear-powered vodka party at the Siberian Electric Company camp!

iBurn app

Given the Burner reputation for putting things together at the last minute, it may be no surprise to learn that the app has not been approved by Apple yet. But the developers hope to have it up on the app store in time for this year’s burn (the week after next, in other words). “I think Apple will approve it in time. The API data is also being refined as the app is reviewed, so all should be well come Burning Man,” says Andrew Johnson, one of the developers of the app. “It was a lot of fun to do, and we’ll add some more features next
year–things like waypoint overlays on the map, search, and in-app
media like music and art.”

In the meantime, eager tech-savvy types can download and build the app themselves. Everyone else can plan events the old-fashioned way–at the Burning Man website.

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Update: The app is now live. Check it out here.

[Gaia GPS]

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.

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