The Fastest Bar Crawl | Ben Cunningham

The Fastest Bar Crawl

Written by Ben Cunningham · on January 15, 2016

Starting tonight, my radio co-host is reliving a timeless adventure from her father’s university days — hitting up every bar in Iowa City in one weekend. In honor of the feat, and motived by this post by my professor Sam Burer, I decided to try to find the path that minimizes walking time between the spots on her list.

My repertoire of optimization techniques is decidedly limited, but considering the stakes, I reckoned that hill climbing (and an attempt at simulated annealing) would do. Using the R package ggmap, I was able to geocode the list of bars and scrape walking directions between each establishment. Summarizing these directions, I built a cost matrix relating the estimated time to travel between points. Finally, after piecing together the local search code, I mapped out the weekend program with leaflet.

I doubt that this is a global solution, but hopefully it will save her crew a bit of walking.

## Estimated walking time: 39M 10S
##                            Bar             Address
## 1       Dave's Fox Head Tavern     402 E Market St
## 2              George's Buffet     312 E Market St
## 3             IC Ugly's Saloon       210 N Linn St
## 4                  EDEN Lounge        217 Iowa Ave
## 5               Blue Moose Inc        221 Iowa Ave
## 6                   Yacht Club        13 S Linn St
## 7                Sports Column     12 S Dubuque St
## 8              Deadwood Tavern      6 S Dubuque St
## 9           Dublin Underground      5 S Dubuque St
## 10 808 Restaurant & Night Club        121 Iowa Ave
## 11                 Joe's Place        115 Iowa Ave
## 12                      Summit     10 S Clinton St
## 13  Clinton Street Social Club 18 1/2 S Clinton St
## 14                The Airliner     22 S Clinton St
## 15             Pints Iowa City    118 S Clinton St
## 16              Donnelly's Pub    110 E College St
## 17               The Union Bar    121 E College St
## 18         The Mill Restaurant 120 E Burlington St
## 19        Brothers Bar & Grill    125 S Dubuque St
## 20             DC's Sports Bar    124 S Dubuque St
## 21        Fieldhouse Iowa City    118 S Dubuque St
## 22            Forbidden Planet    111 S Dubuque St
## 23        Quinton's Bar & Deli 215 E Washington St
## 24                  Gabe's Inc 330 E Washington St
## 25           Iowa City Brewlab 505 E Washington St
## 26                      Bardot    347 S Gilbert St
## 27                  Sams Pizza    441 S Gilbert St
## 28               Sanctuary Pub    405 S Gilbert St
## 29        Vine Tavern & Eatery   330 E Prentiss St