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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Finding leads for new places to explore (Viewed 541 times)
Derelictxdreams 


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Finding leads for new places to explore
< on 10/20/2017 11:13 AM >
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Hello guys,

Perhaps a bit of a noob question but one of the things I most have trouble with is finding leads for new places on the Internet - of course any can search "abandoned buildings in ______" "urbex in _____" but they rarely yield results because people are so keen to keep places they've been searching a secret (and rightly so).

I've gotten a few leads off YouTube as videos give off more information.

I'm looking particularly for answers relating to largely unexplored areas/countries as I'm currently in South East Asia and urban exploration isn't what it is in the west here. If anybody has any tips they'd be willing to share as I'm off to Sri Lanka soon and want to get the jump on it before I go

Thanks,

DD




Adv.Pack 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 1 on 10/20/2017 12:16 PM >
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My favorite thing to do is just look at Google Earth. Sometimes i spend hours at a time searching on there. Where I live, it is pretty easy to spot anything that has been abandoned for a while.




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Steed 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 2 on 10/20/2017 1:49 PM >
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Since your time is limited, your best hope is networking with local explorers.




Aran 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 3 on 10/20/2017 2:00 PM >
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Your best bet is to use Google Maps to examine the older industrial parts of whatever city you're visiting. Look for empty parking lots, roof damage, etc.

Also, not sure if it's the same in Sri Lanka, but over in the US following railroad tracks (especially freight lines) and rivers via Google Maps will often turn up something.




I was born too late to explore the world, but too early to explore the stars. So instead I'll explore the city, and see what I can see.

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EsseXploreR 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 4 on 10/20/2017 3:52 PM >
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For general "what's around me" stuff, definitely use google maps. Like Adv. Ive killed hours and found plenty of things like that. You can also drive main roads in towns and cities you've never been to. You'll always find stuff going that route.

For more specific "where is that place" searching, clues in the architecture are your best bet. This applies more to America, but im sure some of it could still apply. For example, different denominations of religions will have specific nuances in their buildings. Roman Catholic churches are the easiest by far to spot. Presbyterian Churches are a close second. You can also use features from inside the building itself to help date it to within a few decades. If you have that knowledge, and a basic knowledge of who has been, you should have enough to narrow down your options. After a while, you begin to develop a picture in your head of what the outside of the building looks like, just off of a few perspectives of the inside. Bring that to google maps and cross reference it with street view and sometimes you'll have your answer then and there.

Schools and hospitals can be the same way, though modernization often causes problems with that. But if you know the general area, look for other schools, active or abandoned, that share certain qualities with the one you're searching for. There are a ton of Collegiate Gothic, Art Deco, and Neoclassical schools across North America, and they all have distinct yet different features that make it fairly easy to categorize them. And even further, specific architects will have their own touches that can occasionally be a complete giveaway. Some cities only used one or two architects during the expansion of their respective school systems, and that occasionally led to some stark contrasts in design as well. This can all be used to further narrow down your search.

For hospitals, some were built to specific design standards which are easy to find. In addition, many times state hospital structures built in the same region will have buildings on campus that mirror others. So if you're saying to yourself "that looks like ______, but I know it can't be because ______ is different", then you're actually pretty close to an answer. Hospitals will almost always have some sort of presence online, and if they aren't already known then that should also be a clue. At least in my neck of the woods, abandoned hospitals are (or were) everywhere. So many times you just won't know until you see for yourself.

That's basically my process whenever I see something new pop up. Even if I can't find it right away, the more people that go, the better my chances are.

The last thing I'll leave you with is dont rule out a building in the early stages of demolition. Usually anything significant being destroyed will have some sort of press around it, and if you catch them quick enough you can get some incredibly unique shots even if the building has a big hole in it.




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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 5 on 10/20/2017 4:29 PM >
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Speaking from experience, I wouldn't count on Google Maps anywhere in Asia.

That and urban development is different in different places, and if you follow a tip that works in one country, it might be totally useless in another, or lead you into harm's way.




Soillarda 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 6 on 10/20/2017 8:48 PM >
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Simply Googling "abandoned places in ___" may not find anything but Google is still you're best friend. The trick is using it to find locations indirectly. For me, I get the best results by researching the history of the area, and then scouring the area with Google Maps partly to see if anything obvious pops up but mostly to familiarize myself with the layout of the land.

Besides the general history of the area (mainly to find the oldest areas, see what manufacturing or other industries boomed there, etc), I love to look for urban legends, paranormal spots, haunted places--stuff like that. Those stories will very often lead to abandoned places or just unusual places most people don't know about. As an added bonus you get to know a cool backstory to the location, even if you don't believe in that aspect of it.

Lastly, just driving around and seeing what you find can prove fruitful. I've found some of my favorite explores by just spotting them from the road while on my way somewhere else.



[last edit 10/20/2017 8:49 PM by Soillarda - edited 1 times]

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blackhawk 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 7 on 10/20/2017 9:09 PM >
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Research the last 200 years of industrial history of the area.
Research WW2 activity bunkers etc. There were 4 coastal batteries at Columbo.
Google Earth the hell out of it...




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Derelictxdreams 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 8 on 10/22/2017 4:41 AM >
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Safe guys,

This is really, really useful information for me - I'm so glad I asked the question now, I felt it was perhaps a little too obvious.

I want to thanks you all for your time and information - especially EsseXploreR this will change how I go about the scouting process.

If I get anything good out of Sri Lanka I will be sure to post the shots.

Really appreciated.

DD




CanadianExplorers 


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How do YOU find abandoned places?
< Reply # 9 on 10/22/2017 2:47 PM >
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I found that I have explored every abandonment within a 30 mile radius from me. It's kinda annoying cause I cant find anywhere online, and driving around (which I do lots of) and looking around isn't helping. Any tips to find abandoned places? Google hasn't really helped ):




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Drunknmunky 


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Re: How do YOU find abandoned places?
< Reply # 10 on 10/22/2017 3:21 PM >
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Research, Google Maps and lots of patience. Also if you can find another explorer that trusts you and shows you spots that's the easiest and biggest way to find stuff. I understand the frustrations I'm currently researching a spot supposedly down here somewhere that if still in the condition I saw the one video in will be an epic explore. Good luck and happy exploring.




Trespassing wayfarer 


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Re: How do YOU find abandoned places?
< Reply # 11 on 10/22/2017 4:07 PM >
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Okay, if you want to find locations you're going to have to use google maps a lot. Tbh, the vast majority of the urban exploration hobby is searching google maps. It will basically be your constant.

Now, google maps is unfortunately outdated or inaccurate in a lot of instances so your goal should actually be to limit the amount of time you actually need to use your constant (Google maps) as much as possible.


The best way to do that is to have someone just tell you locations, or use a database like this one. However, that is not as easy as it seems since it often requires trust, but there are plenty of threads about getting people to trust you so I'll delegate to them.

So short of someone straight up telling you locations, the next best way to cut the amount of time you need to use google maps is see what locations actually exist in your areas. It's a lot harder to search for something that you don't know exists than searching for something that you know exists. So finding out which abandonments that exist in your area will cut how much you use your constant.

Look through Flickr, Instagram, local Facebook groups etc for hits about both your city and abandonments. For example, on instagram search #abandonedottawa or whatever city you're from. Even if the location isn't given, tbh it almost never will, the knowledge that "something" is out there is extremely valuable.

Sometimes the pictures even give enough of a clue where to look. For example, if you see a picture of an abandoned lighthouse, that reduces the amount you have to search on google maps since you know it's near the shore.

Another valuable asset that is massively overlooked to use is to watch the activities of your local street artist. Often they will write pieces in abandoned locations. Lots of these artists also run in crews and these crews have turfs, i.e. certain sectors in the overall city. Like most artists, they want to show off their art, thus they will often broadcast their work on social media. If you can figure out the turf, it will seriously reduce that amount of area you need to search google maps for.


"Local Public information" is also very useful to look for. Newspapers, police activity logs, city complaints, all frequently mention abandoned locations. They are also pretty easy to find on google. (When using google to search for information about locations make sure to use the advanced search tools and command prompts.) They often give the actual address, and/or name of the location. Check google very often. I tend to do an Ottawa/abandonment google search scrounge every 3 or 4 days.


Talking to locals can also be very rewarding. Everyone at some point in their life has seen an abandoned building or knows something about one so there's a lot of untapped information just below the surface. Talk to a high schooler, or a police(wo)man, or any members of the community. People love to talk, capitalize on that.


My last suggestion for cutting down how much you need to rely on google maps is to just live your life. Living and working in the area you want to find locations in will get you locations. All abandoned locations have to start somewhere, eventually one will pop up in your bubble. It also helps if you alternate the routes you travel through the city. It's not the most efficient way, but it's the most AFK and hopefully the least tedious since it is just living your life.

A combination of all these approaches should net you with a lot of locations over a relatively short amount of time without slaving away on google maps.

















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Fleeting 


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Re: How do YOU find abandoned places?
< Reply # 12 on 10/22/2017 4:54 PM >
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We were talking about this at the UE meet in Toronto last night. Niagra is very limited in what it has to offer. Toronto has more than most people let on to. If I ever get bored of exploring in Toronto, I'd plan a day trip out to Hamilton or somewhere just outside the city. I'd suggest the same for you.

The majority of the places I have found observing by driving around, on the bus, or on trains/subways. Remember to write down approximately where you saw the thing of interest, then go investigate it!




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senzuri 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 13 on 11/22/2017 9:57 PM >
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Sometimes I'll just ask people if they know any cool abandoned buildings around while I'm hitchhiking. If I'm lucky sometimes they'll even drive me to them.

I remember going exploring an abandoned tower with some Japanese dad while his wife and kid waited for us in the car one time haha




mookster 


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Re: Finding leads for new places to explore
< Reply # 14 on 11/23/2017 4:43 PM >
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Use Google Maps/Earth a lot. A hell of a lot.

But don't take it as you see it, because the maps can be outdated, sometimes by a number of years. When you spot a potential explore, find out what it was first, then secondly find out whether it's still around or not.

Because nobody likes a wasted trip.




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