This is awesome. I wanted to make a map like this years ago but at the time the Boston Licensing board would only give (or rather, sell) a paper list of licensed bars in the city. It was clearly a printout from a database but when I asked them for access to the database or even an excel export they looked at me like I had 4 heads.
This is one instance where a Google Maps integration would be really useful – “dots on a map,” as I’ve heard you call it before, but it would be great to be able to click the dots and find out the name, address, get a link to yelp, etc.
Also, you can see how the neighborhoods are getting drier and drier. I live in the grey zone of booze death in Roxbury. We have only 1 bar within half a mile of my house. I’m pretty sure that this is largely due to the cap on liquor licenses, so that licenses are now an expensive commodity and are being sucked from the neighborhoods towards the city center. It would be interesting to see the distribution of roughly the same number of licenses 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
Thanks for putting this together! I hope this can be another tool to spur action in the long-overdue reform of the methodology by which Boston is granted liquor licenses.
Jason—thanks so much for your extremely thoughtful comment! You are totally right about this data set begging for a clickable slippy map. I apologize for failing to include this link in the original post. The original Boston Business Journal article linked to it.
Awesome idea to map change in the licensed liquor landscape of Boston. Would that we could get our hands on the data!
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