Booooozy Mapping


I have had plans to start a blog for over two years now and I am finally getting around to it. I’m sure the start of the blog could be its own post, but I will avoid talking about that right now in lieu of having a much more interesting topic.

I have also been planning to go and do my own data collection around the awesome (haha!) Borough of State College, PA (because we don’t have cities in this awesome state). Since this town prides itself on being a “Drinking Town with a Football Problem”, I figured why the hell not make a map of the actual drinking problem?

Now this is actually quite a controversial topic for me. Almost exactly 10 years ago I moved to State College to attend Penn State as an undergrad. While at PSU, I was a good student and a great party girl. I graduated, got my masters, went to work for a while (all stories for another day), grew up a bit, and then decided to make the awesome decision to come back to good ol’ State College for my Ph.D.. Returning to State College was a shock, for lack of a better description. I see the idiotic undergrads walking around like zombies on Friday and Saturday nights and put my head in my hands and think “oh crap, that used to be me”. While I rarely still consider myself a party girl, I obviously am totally embarrassed by the place that first allowed me to become one. But while this has all been going through my head, I have come to realize State College totally does have a drinking problem, and so I figured, “what the hell, I’m gonna put this crap on a map”. So I did.

This past weekend was Halloween, and I desperately wanted to go out and map all the leftover costume bits. Mainly I was trying to locate the elusive Post-Halloween Walk of Shame (perhaps the most embarrassing of all walks of shame). I did that, along with mapping every leftover Solo cup, beer can, and costume bit.


Beer Preferences

So what? All I did was make a map of crap (because that truly is what it is). What if I queried the data with that GIS thing? Alright sure, why not? Here are crappy beer preferences based on my littered beer can survey. Most common beer? Oh don’t worry, we drink high class stuff here in Central PA; it is the one and only Natural Light! “Natty” for the commoners. Bud Light was runner up. Oh you thought we drank Yuengling here in PA? Wrong.

NattyLight BudLight NattyIce MillerLite

Natty Light tends to be concentrated closer to Frat Row while higher quality beer (Bud Light and Miller Lite) are more common in the southern part of the town.

Bag o’ Boooooze

bag natty

Where to go when you want a full can of Natty or an entire “bag o’ booze”? I thought I was the only super smart undergrad when I was here, leaving booze around town to fetch later. Turns out there are a few undergrads just as smart as I once was. One co-ed left an entire duffle bag of booze in a bush. There was also a nearly full case of Natty in another.


A Map of Solo Cups

Why make a map of Solo cups? Because I wanted to make a map of something ridiculous. Really you should be asking: why not?


Halloween Remnants

I wished there had been more Halloween remnants, however, I was not completely disappointed: ribbons, socks, smashed balloons, wig remnants, and broken handcuffs were all left out for the elements to destroy.


Bob Marley was murdered here:


Broken handcuffs can only mean one thing:


Sock Map

On Halloween night you may periodically want to take off your socks and leave them in the street. If you do, I will find them, GPS their location, and put it on a map. Total socks found: 5 (including a matching pair).


Empty Liquor Bottles


When you are too cool for drinking (and littering) a can of beer, you should probably bring an entire handle of Vladmir Vodka (Vlady to us Pennsylvanians). It’s high quality stuff that no self-respecting bar will even dare put in their well. Two words: rubbing alcohol. Undergrads enjoy it neat, with a beer chaser (Natty preferably).

Lower quality stuff continues to be concentrated near Frat Row (Vlady and Bankers), while higher quality liquor is found further west and south.


A GPS App Entirely Composed of Comic Sans!


Alright, so how did I get this data? Well despite it being the day after Halloween, I got my butt out of bed on November 1st, downloaded this terrible iPhone app called Free GPS, walked around for 2.5 hours in the general party area in State College, and literally GPSed every one of the points on the maps above: 299 points to be exact. By the way, Free GPS is an app entirely composed of Comic Sans. One word: awesome. Second word: NOT. Anyways, the app is supposed to let you export your GPS points, but the 299 points I GPSed crashed the app. I ended up typing them all into Microsoft Excel. I obviously had nothing better to do.

The Elusive Post-Halloween Walk of Shame

I will end this post with a final map. I did see it: the elusive Post-Halloween Walk of Shame. The creature, despite the cold, was wearing only shorts and a t-shirt holding a costume in hand. It wasn’t quite what I had imagined. (I really wanted to see someone who was still wearing the costume with smeared makeup everywhere). Oh well, there is always next year…


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