Author and researcher Ingrid Burrington has an interesting project which involves decoding the cryptic physical infrastructure of the internet in New York City.
This includes cables, relay boxes, wi-fi antennas and repeaters, and even the spray-painted symbols that ISP’s like Time Warner Cable places on the street to identify what lies below. The project evolved into a website called Seeing Networks, and now into the #1 book on Amazon’s Sociology of Urban Areas category.
Using New York as her point of reference and more than fifty color illustrations as her map, Burrington takes us on a tour of the urban network: She decodes spray-painted sidewalk markings, reveals the history behind cryptic manhole covers, shuffles us past subway cameras and giant carrier hotels, and peppers our journey with background stories about the NYPD’s surveillance apparatus, twentieth-century telecommunication monopolies, high frequency trading on Wall Street, and the downtown building that houses the offices of both Google and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Purchase “Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure” for just $15 on Amazon