Burning Man Pages by Brad Templeton
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Where did people call?
About 3000 minutes of calls were made out from the phone. That was about 1620 calls to about 1000 distinct numbers. (A number of the calls were redials due to trouble getting through of course.) Yes, I got a bill logging all the numbers (as warned about on the Privacy notice) but I don't know who called what number in effectively all cases.
The big target was California, where most Burners come from, where 650 of the called numbers resided. Next in line were Oregon with 172 numbers and Washington with 102. Florida had 45 numbers called, possibly hurricane related. There were 58 Canadian numbers (all the way to Saint John's, Newfoundland) but only 3 Mexican numbers.
There were many overseas calls including 17 numbers in the U.K. Other popular places were Ireland, Israel, Poland and Japan. But we also saw calls to Tanzania, Jo'burg, Sydney, Bogata, Caracas, Cairo and Moscow among others. With VoIP these often aren't expensive -- unless they are to cell phones where the caller pays for the airtime. Indeed, the most expensive calls that were made were ones to European cell phones! (There are more expensive places to call, but nobody called them. There was a rumour of somebody wanting to call Iraq but that didn't show up in the bill.)
For distance, Johannesburg set the record -- it's almost exactly on the other side of the world -- though Tanzania is almost as far.
About 65 calls were to 800 numbers. Some were real (airlines etc.) but may were people not clear on the free phone concept, trying to use calling cards. I am not sure if they did well with this -- during the day touch-tones were not getting through very well, but it was also a waste of their money. A few folks called 411 for information -- I am not sure if that even worked. Some called the operator -- I know this didn't work.
I charted maps of all the places people called. In the USA and Canada I extracted the town name and zip code from the numbers to make an accurate map.
On the world map, sometimes we knew the city, sometimes a pushpin was just placed in a country that was called. Blue pushpins are used for calls outside country code 1, red pins for country code 1.
There's also a close up of the main areas of California, target of many of the calls.