A helpful drinking robot
March 26, 2012 11:56 PM   Subscribe

A helpful drinking robot
Ever wanted to know where in Oregon the next new bar will be? Every week, Oregon's liquor control commission posts pdf's of their applicants for a liquor license. This bot grabs the latest PDF, makes a google map from it, and then tweets it.

This is still pretty basic, parsing the pdf itself is kind of a problem, and I can't seem to find if there are other formats that would be easier to use. I haven't found it yet, but I'd like to be able to link to the actual license applications (also publicly available, but in a different location) which will include more details on the space.

Eventually I'd want to generate maps of the other data they provide on the website.
Role: programmer everything
posted by mrzarquon (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Nice! In related news, why have we not had a meet-up at the relatively new TARDIS bar? I mean, Dr. Who, Oregon MeFites and beer?
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:44 PM on March 27, 2012

Just added the ability to link directly to the pdf submitted by the applicant (information provided via portlandonline.com).
posted by mrzarquon at 4:38 PM on March 27, 2012

posted by cortex at 5:15 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was interviewed last week for a local portland beer blog about this now as well.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:42 AM on April 2, 2012

Some more info for folks:

Right now I am grabbing HTML* from here, which is provided by the City of Portland for their community notification service. All liquor licenses applications have to be posted visibly on the venue for neighbors to know about changes or new licenses coming in. I haven't had any problems with the city trying to shut down Bender, since I am just taking their already publicly availably data (it is linked to from the civic apps open data initiative, it just appears I am the only one who is using it).

Pretty much any change in license will show up on this map, which is a great way for finding new applicants, and new restaurants. Places like EaterPDX and the Mercury use this to get their "scoops" on new restaurants opening.

*I didn't bother to check when I first started that it was in RSS, which when I get around to it, I will change so it actually updates nicely, and much more automatically.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:05 PM on April 11, 2012

And I am planning to start building a dictionary of bender quotes so it doesn't get as tedious, just been busy with actual paying job.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2012

This is awesome, and I previously forgot to vote for it. However, the thing that reminded me that I hadn't voted was that I couldn't comment on the TARDIS bar. I have been there, and I didn't think it was all that great. I mean, it's better than no TARDIS bar at all, but it's mostly a lot of posters and stickers on the wall. I was hoping for more dramatic paint jobs and blinkenlights.

I look forward to more Bender quotes. It's great that this has both function and personality.
posted by Secretariat at 8:39 AM on April 14, 2012

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