A Field Guide to Roadside Technology
by Ed Sobey
Chicago Review Press
There’s a geeky charm to this little pocket guide. We’ve all seen birding guides and the like, with pictures of birds and where you might find them. Here we get a more industrial look at the environment, with small, black-and-white pictures and range and habitat descriptions of cell towers, sewage treatment plants, and traffic lights. Each piece of urban technology gets a page, with enough organizational structure to allow you to find out what each anonymous box really does.
You may question the need for this book, but whether you live in a rural paradise or a gritty slum, it’s worth knowing what all this stuff in your world is really for. I admit I picked up a few things here, particularly about water navigation and railroad signaling. It would be an adventure to take a young person and look for these things, most of them are not that hard to find, but you need to really LOOK at the street. Hey, it’s the world you live in; try to understand it a little better.