The Geek Atlas
128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2009
Pages: 544

The history of science is all around us, if you know where to look. With this unique traveler's guide, you'll learn about 128 destinations around the world where discoveries in science, mathematics, or technology occurred or is happening now. Travel to Munich to see the world's largest science museum, watch Foucault's pendulum swinging in Paris, ponder a descendant of Newton's apple tree at Trinity College, Cambridge, and more.

Each site in The Geek Atlas focuses on discoveries or inventions, and includes information about the people and the science behind them. Full of interesting photos and illustrations, the book is organized geographically by country (by state within the U.S.), complete with latitudes and longitudes for GPS devices.

Destinations include:

  • Bletchley Park in the UK, where the Enigma code was broken
  • The Alan Turing Memorial in Manchester, England
  • The Horn Antenna in New Jersey, where the Big Bang theory was confirmed
  • The National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland
  • The Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was exploded
  • The Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California

You won't find tedious, third-rate museums, or a tacky plaque stuck to a wall stating that "Professor X slept here." Every site in this book has real scientific, mathematical, or technological interest -- places guaranteed to make every geek's heart pound a little faster. Plan a trip with The Geek Atlas and make your own discoveries along the way.

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4.6

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  • Accurate (3)
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    5.0

    Interesting, well written and well deser

    By Mike Halsey

    from UK

    About Me Educator

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        Comments about O'Reilly Media The Geek Atlas:

        While the list of places detailed in this book is both interesting and relevant. One of the most interesing parts of the book is the descriptions of the science and engineering behind some of the world's most interesting inventions. These descriptions are crafted in a way that's easy to read, simple to understand and really informative :)

         
        4.0

        Armchair Tour

        By kdlauricella

        from Sunnyvale, CA

        Verified Reviewer

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          Comments about O'Reilly Media The Geek Atlas:

          The Geek Atlas locates for the reader sites around the world where science & technology are memorialized and, in many cases, still used today. Accompanying each site description is a short article explaining the technology discovered, invented, developed, or used.

          Perfect for taking a virtual vacation and getting inspired to put these places into a real trip.

          I received this book from a local chapter of the ACM.

           
          5.0

          A Fun, Exciting and Interesting Ride

          By Greg L

          from Conway, Arkansas

          About Me Developer

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            Comments about O'Reilly Media The Geek Atlas:

            Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review. I try not to let that influence my review, but I thought you should know.

            This is a fun book. It's full of short (2-3 page) sections describing locations where great science has taken place (128 of them). The sections are grouped by country and include something for everyone; Radio Telescopes, Fermilab and Issac Newton are all here (you expected them, right?) but so are entries for the Eiffel Tower, Westminster Abby, and the Escher Museum. Between the sections are fascinating entries telling about the science relative to each place; How does a Radio Telescope work? How about a tumbler lock? Self diagnosing and correcting radio transmission, solar panels (and mirror arrays) and much, much more. Things are basic enough for just about anyone to understand with just enough math (and only a little Calculus) for those of you wanting something more. There's even a "secret code" to crack.

            I've read a lot of books, mostly "geekie" manuals, because I like them. This book was a joy to wander my way through. I wish I had it before traveling to England a few years back and will definitely refer to it next time I plan to take a vacation and look forward to the next edition!

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            NOT just for Geeks!!!!

            By MouseBytes Writer

            from Clearwater, Florida

            About Me Armchair traveler

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              Comments about O'Reilly Media The Geek Atlas:

              When I first got this book and started to read it I thought immediately that it was mis-titled. So I looked to Wikipedia.org for a definition of Geek: "A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. Persons have been labeled as or chosen to identify as physics geeks, mathematics geeks, engineering geeks, sci-fi geeks, computer geeks, various science geeks, movie and film geeks (cinephile), comic book geeks, theatre geeks, history geeks, music geeks, art geeks, philosophy geeks, literature geeks, historical reenactment geeks, video game geeks and roleplay geeks."More at OMG! Am I one of those? Nevertheless, if you are interested in science and/or technology then you will like this book. I know, I know.... it isn't a book about the Macintosh but I was fascinated by it.This book is so interesting and I say that "not as a Geek". It is sort of like a travel guide and just as interesting to the arm chair traveler. Basically it covers actual sites all over the world (as opposed to internet sites) for those that want to learn more about science, mathematics and technology. There are 128 of these sites in the book. More on this later.The author does a great job with his listings, having each one in its own chapter. The three parts to the chapters are:a general introduction, then a more technical detail of it and then ends with practical visiting information. In each chapter, there will be a website to get more information if there is one available.•Of course the book has 1 Infinity Loop - Cupertino, Cal. This is considered Visiting the Mothership to Apple aficionados. Bam member Kirsten Andreason and I visited Apple Computer at this location last January after Macworld in San Francisco and it was like being in a candy store for Macs. On the campus at 1 Infinity is a sign written in two Apple fonts. The 1 is in old Chicago and Infinity Loop is in Apple's version of Garamond. But why did they name it Infinity Loop? Some of you may know. The rest of you will have to read it in this book. And they go into lots of detail on this subject I might say. I never promised to tell you everything, did I?More places listed are:•Gutenberg Museum - Mainz, Germany. History of movable type and Gutenberg's invention of it around 1450. The museum also has two of the original Gutenberg Bibles.•Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan. This is the place where you will find any kind of electronics, everything related to computers and the place for phone fanatics. A lot of history to this place and quite a bit of it is explained in this chapter.•The Escher Museum - The Hague, Netherlands. I am sure you have seen some of the impossible shapes that Escher's art has shown such as the Necker Cube and the Penrose Triangle and stairs. Check it out at •Read about the invention of the slide rule by William Oughtred and what place to visit in the book.•Kennedy Space Center - Merrittt Island, Florida. One of the great places to visit for the scientific tourist. In this chapterinformation is given on Escape Velocity with formulas shown, also.•National Museum of American History - Washington, DC. Many scientific, mathematical and industrial artifacts are here. Want to learn about Bakelite, the world's first sythetic plastic? Lots of information on it here as well as formulas.•Of course the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA has to be mentioned in this book. It is the center for robotics and artificial intelligence. So many displays here and a holography collection that can't be beat. The book explains holograms and how to create them and more.To be brief, other places in the book are: Fermilab, Batavia, Ill; National Electronics Museum, Linthicum, MD; Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO (formula on how it was built); Trinity Test Site, White Sands Missile Range, NM; Zero G, Las Vegas, NV; NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH (where basic science and testing of space technology is done); and the Kryptos Sculpture, Langley, VA (four encrypted messages here at this CIA spot).So why 128 places? Why not 100 or 300 or any other number? Read the chapter on the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley, England and you will learn (programmers probably have already guessed) that it is because of the Binary System. From the book "To a computer, the round binary numbers 1,10,100, 1000 and 10000 correspond to the decimal numbers 1,2,4,8, and 16. It's for that reason that computers have 4, 8, 16, or 32 gigabytes of memory (as opposed to 5, 10, 20 or 30 gigabytes). It also explaines the title of this book. The 128 in the title is a round binary number (10000000), and is meant as a signal to any computer geek seeing this book on a shelf."Bottom Line. I recommend this book for any of you that travel and are looking for some great places to visit and also those that are armchair travelers. Loads of interesting information here to read.O'Reilly Publications,[...] After reading the book, I guess I now agree with the title of it.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Number one on my favorite gifts to give list.

              By Pam Raisanen

              from Undisclosed

              Comments about O'Reilly Media The Geek Atlas:

              What a treasure! This book is now number one on my favorite gifts to give list. Whether used as a travel planner, an overview of important discoveries or just to curl up with on the couch for a few minutes of relaxation, this book is a delight.

              The Geek Atlas covers 128 places to visit that are science/math/technology related. Graham-Cumming's book focuses on sites where contributions are presented in a serious manner and skips places that portray science as fluffy entertainment based. This is both a good resource for travelers, geeks, and science buffs, as well as a great read. The chapters are an average of four pages long and packed with interesting, well organized information. They contain a description of the location, a related technical subject and visiting details. Links to associated websites are also included. Best of all, the science is explained in an easy to understand manner. We'll all be waiting impatiently for a second edition. Thank you, John Graham-Cumming!

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