Computer helps solve Bloom's riddle
Part of the route plotted by Rory McCann. The full route is available on his blog. (C) OSM Contributors, CC-BY-SA
by DAVID MOLLOY
“Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub,” according to Leopold Bloom, the main character of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Just in time for Bloomsday, an Irish computer programmer thinks he’s cracked one of Dublin’s oldest mazes.
Rory McCann plotted a course through the city from the North Circular Road at Blackhorse Avenue to the canal at Baggot Street, which he says avoids every pub, even if it does require a detour through a museum and a park.
In a city famous for its public houses, Mr McCann set himself a few rules: “cross Dublin” required moving from north to south, and from east to west, roughly within the boundaries of the city’s canals.
“It was something I’d heard about, like most Dubliners, and it was an interesting idea,” Mr McCann said.
The UCD graduate used pub locations from OpenStreetMap, an online editable map, and designed a piece of computer code that ignored any routes across the city within 35 metres away from anywhere marked as a “pub”.