2015 (Almost) Final MOOP Map Released [Update]

Inspection tools. Image by @Shalaco

Inspection tools. Image by @Shalaco

This year, the BLM approved Burning Man’s “Leave No Trace” status a full week before the MOOP inspection could be completed. This seems a little strange – as does “we passed with a visibly wide margin” in light of the amount of red on this “almost final” map posted yesterday. Is this a sign that the volunteer MOOP inspectors are now being more zealous than the actual MOOP inspectors? DPW scored a few reds and yellows, and there is a giant big red for The Man. A few camps with red have been specifically named, including Ibiza Camp, Distrikt, Emergency Services Station 3, and the dead-eating nun-fuckers at the Totem of Confessions. Celtic Chaos and Ooligan Airways get named and shamed for large amounts of red, while White Ocean is the biggest red of the whole map and yet somehow manages to avoid a direct link to it.

2015 Moop-Map-2015_Day-9

The “final” map is still several months away, according to VOBM.

This is NOT the final map. The final is still being created, and will be released in a few months, along with detailed information about what was found where. If you’re wondering about what happened, and you’re a placed camp, you will hear from your Placement representative in a few months with more information

Apparently, the delay is simply in getting the data into the graphics, not doing the sweeps:

we have finished line sweeping our way through the streets of Black Rock City …However, it takes us several days to produce the Moop Map images…Sorry for the confusion. Have you ever tried computering in this desert? It’s a slow process [Source]

Here’s how the BLM inspection works:

The BLM can’t inspect the entire 4.5 square mile event site in a single day, so 60 randomly-selected points throughout the city are chosen as a sampling. Each inspection point is one tenth of an acre. They cover all parts of the city, from the streets, to the Man and art sites, to the open playa.

In order to achieve success, there must be less than one square foot of moop found per acre. Therefore, each inspection point must produce less than one tenth of a square foot of moop. That’s a 3.8 inch wide square. It’s small.

And yet, once again, we passed with a visibly wide margin. Do you know how big a deal that is? It’s a tremendous accomplishment, and it’s something we all did together, as the community of Black Rock City. [Source]

It’s great news that we passed. It’s just a little confusing that “passed by a wide margin” is the same as “large amounts of red and yellow all over the map”.

Congratulations to all the camps who scored a green. Anyone who scored a red must live with the public shame for months, without any information about “what” or “why”, and no chance to defend themselves. Surely there could be a better way. Why not just sweep the whole site on the Wednesday following Burning Man, taking photos with GPS co-ordinates? They could post any red marks online and let the camps who care come and explain themselves, apologize, or ask how they could have done it better. Dealing with this more publicly could help educate the whole community together; this system of “we say its red and that’s that and you won’t even find out why for months” seems to help the NPD social capital brigade more than it helps the global community of Burners.

And while we’re at it, what about an abandoned bikes map?

Thanks to Gary Justgary for posting these from previous years:

moop 2014 moop 2013 moop 2010

[Update 10/14/15 11:09am]

Adam La France has shared a couple of photos of MOOP left behind this year.

2015 wood left behind adam la france

Abandoned timber is gathered in one place and burned. Image: Adam La France via Facebook

2015 abandoned bikes

Many of these bikes were stolen before being abandoned. Image: Adam La France via Facebook

26 comments on “2015 (Almost) Final MOOP Map Released [Update]

  1. Pingback: BREAKING: Anonymous Terror Group Claims Responsibility For Burning Man Attacks | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. I’m confused here. This is as closer to a ‘final’ moop map as I can find, and I’m pretty upset that our area is yellow. Everyone in our camp did a moop sweep of their area and around before they left. My girlfriend and I were the last to leave our entire block, on Tuesday afternoon. I’m a former Outward Bound and LNT instructor, and our place was pretty spotless. We went through with a magnetic broom and sifting screens where necessary. There’s just no fucking way our entire block was yellow, especially considering what I saw of our neighbors who got green. Next year I’m doing a video walk through of our space. None of our camp has received any reply or explanation of how we got all yellow. It’s just not possible.

    • Gregorio, are you with a placed theme camp? If yes then have your mayor / camp coordinator contact your placer. They should be able to provide a detailed explanation of the MOOP in your quadrant.

      • Hi Borris – neither my comment, nor your reply, is showing up here; my guess is that it’s a problem with Safari on the iPad. Yes, we were in Mutant Machine town, corner of 7 & G. Our mayor did ask, and we’ve never gotten a satisfactory reply. I had forgotten about it until the ticket info got released today, and I saw the moop map link in the sidebar.

  3. The pile of wood that you called moop is actually the trash-man burn, and consists of DPW wood. Not participant MOOP.

    We’ve done this for years.

  4. Joshua is completely right. The map documents the moop found and removed by the playa restoration team (aka DPW Resto). When BLM shows on site for the inspection they find a clean playa due to the efforts of this amazing team of people (about 170 of them this year, including support staff). Most of the moop found is actually pretty small stuff, wood chips, glitter and sequins, feathers, cigarette butts, last year some of the bigger items were tagged with red X marks. I don’t know why it was decided not to repeat that. Some of the red spots are grey/black water spills (yes someone actually smells the playa wet spots to determine if it was white water or grey/black and contaminated playa is removed to a landfill facility). Some of the red areas come from extremely high traffic zones (esplanade between 9 and 10, corner rave camps) and from a lack of clean up methodology (rakes are your friends, linesweeps are more efficient then solo wandering). The delay between the end of Resto (Monday 10/5) and the publication of the finalish map is intentional to allow for the first showing of the final map to be at the SF Decompression, yes the analog map was available for everyone to see at the DPW zone.

  5. It’s not confusing, it’s fallout. Yes! That’s it, fallout hit 7:00 to 10:00 o’clock. They were down wind of the nuclear explosion and fireworks, and photos would be nice.
    I can’t imagine good neighbors dumping trash on your site to leave a “n Fuck ur Day” message, oops, I just did. Wanders off *humming Alice’s Restaurant Massacre*

  6. Im a part of White Ocean, we cleaned, everyday we cleaned up trash left from the partiers in our dance area… everyday of breakdown we had people doing their part cleaning, while the structure was be dismantled we made sure no bolts or washers or nuts were dropped… our core stayed a day after everyone else to moop the area(thursday)…… so understand that there are many reasons why we could red like this, and we are wondering why ourselves… also note that its been years since a corner got less than red on its dance floor(which u showed fur us, 2010, the only year that corner was clean) also look at how we took care of our area last year… we are trying….

    Ps .. we actually made this huge grid n dropped all of the pooh n piss n other shit yall left fur us just to get the perfect red square….
    n Fuck Off, n Fuck ur Day!!!

    Pss…. burners.me, ur a kunt…
    I have posted my real name and email, if there is any issues with White Ocean or myself, please feel free to contact me, I wont hide behind a blog…:-)

  7. Jeez. Joshua is of course correct. Also, regarding the “full week” between BLM approval and publication of the latest MOOP map, notice that there is a date on the map. It’s October 3. Every year they space out publication of the maps, so the final map is published well after line sweeps (and BLM inspections) are completed.

    • The issue is nothing to do with Joshua being correct or not, what a misdirection. It’s the months between the end of the event, the publication of this “final score” for all camps, and then the information going to the camps about what it actually means. The image I published is the best information we all have to go on, from mid-October until “several months” – March?

      Surely in this age of smart phones and social media there is a way for camps to see pictures of the MOOP they’re accused of leaving, and be able to respond with their own evidence if it disputes that? There are a lot of reports on Facebook of people dumping their trash on someone else’s site.

      • You are not accounting for the need to massage the final moop data so the facts fit the story they want to paint. Pictures are particularly problematic unless the files have been scrubbed for any date data,

        …Of course that could all be disproved by posting the final map promptly after the field work is done, with pictures with valid date data. Is anyone holding their breath?…

  8. “It’s great news that we passed. It’s just a little confusing that “passed by a wide margin” is the same as “large amounts of red and yellow all over the map”

    It’s not that hard to understand. The map is what the LNT people discovered and removed from the site before inspection.

    The BLM inspection then takes a random sampling of areas on the site, sifts through the dust, and sees how much is left. If each sample area produces less moop than BLM’s limit, we’re given a pass.

    So the red and yellow doesn’t indicate how much BLM saw, but the crap that the LNT team had to deal with to get us a pass.

    It’s all covered on the Burning Blog here:


    • By your account, RED = the area where the most de-MOOPing work was done; YELLOW = moderate de-MOOPing work was done. When the BLM came to do the test, the entire map was green.

      This is an interesting perspective, but I don’t get that from the article you (and I) linked to from burningman.com.

      • I’m not sure how can -not- get that. I thought it was pretty obvious. To think that the moop map was created by BLM during their inspection just…. well… is silly. Or thinking they just left the moop on the ground so the BLM could see it when they came for the inspection is equally as silly.

      • So the way I read it is that the colors have to do with the amount of time it takes to sweep and MOOP and area. Green is fast, yellow slow and red super slow. My understanding is that the MOOP team is mooping not just surveying and so yes at the end everything should be green. Not sure how I would read the description any other way. Probably worth hearing from one of the many volunteers who can explain the process.

        I do agree that it would not be to hard to document the major Moop dumps and let the camps know. Who knows they may be doing this but since our camp was green (sigh of relief) I don’t know.

        • This makes sense, but is a different theory again. “Red = took a long time to clean”, “Yellow = were able to clean it up pretty quick”, “Green = we didn’t need to do anything it was spotless”.

          Perhaps all the “Joshua has it right” commenters here can say “bubbapuddle has it right” too? Or “bubbapuddle has it wrong”?

          • Would be nice if someone from the Moop team piped in with some description of what leads to a red/yellow/green grade… I read somewhere (I can’t find it now) that the colors were related to the time it takes to traverse and area. So a broken car window could lead to a red since it takes a long time to pick up even though the volume of moop is small. Not sure how that works for something like an abandoned bike that is quick to clean up so probably a combination of both.

            Here are some things I found about how the mooping is done:

          • A broken window would indeed be red, it’s not high volume but requires special effort and it’s many many small pieces. most abandoned bikes and other BIG stuff, like trash bags, broken tents etc. don’t even make it to the moop map since they are cleared way in advance of Resto ops starting.

          • Although I haven’t volunteered for Resto (but have volunteered for DPW) I have plenty of friends who did. I’m not theorizing, I’m relaying info that I know. the colours on the map correspond to the speed of the sweeper lines moving through the city. green = fast = very little to no moop, yellow = medium = some moop, red = slow = much moop and / or special team had to be brought to deal with this specific area. so in a way both Joshua and Bubbapuddle are right.
            Also, the Resto team also sweeps the open Playa (both near and deep), walk in camping, the airport and gate road. There is also a contingent of DPW (called the trash train) who ride down 34 and 447 cleaning up trash that people threw out by the side of the road.

          • Thanks Borris, this is great info – especially that a lot of the big stuff never even makes it to the MOOP map because it has been cleared previously

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