Can Instagram help find Boston’s hottest sports bars?

–File Photo modified with Instagram

At the Hive’s recent NFL Data hackathon, participants crunched numbers to find everything from the league’s true comeback king to the best place to raise a glass with fellow fans.

The hackathon was spurred by release of every NFL play from 2002 to the end of this regular season by AdvancedNFLStats in CSV format, but participants dug into a number of other data sets, including Wikipedia’s list of domed vs. undomed stadiums and the Globe’s own data set of tagged Instagram photos.

A number of participants agreed to share the results of their hacking here on the Hive over the next few weeks (as we slowly recover from the Patriots’ heartbreaking loss to the Ravens), and the first one to share is the Globe’s own creative technologist, Chris Marstall.


He combed through the aforementioned Instagram data set to find Patriots-related hashtags being tweeted during gametime.

Marstall then looked at where those Instagram photos were coming from. The results?

— Tavern in the Square was the most popular cross-section for Instagram and Patriots fans in both Allston and Back Bay.

— Speaking of cross-sections, TD Garden, home to the Celtics and Bruins, was also home to the most Pats fans in Beacon Hill during gametime.

— All those hotspots had their Pats’ tweets dwarfed by Gillette Stadiumm, which had 5,064 tagged photos uploaded on game days.

The data, it must be noted, was highly unscientific: Some hackathon participants questioned how many game day fans Bijou and the Chinatown Gate.

Check out more pictures from the NFL Data Hackathon, and let us know if you did your own data analysis at

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