|UER LDB FAQ v2.1|
> What is the LDB?
The UER Location Database is a database of locations for urban exploration, categorised by region. As of 4 December 2014, we have 4984 entries for America, 3249 for Canada, 48 for the rest of North America, 2 for South America, 10 for Africa, four for Antarctica, 404 for Asia, 83 for Oceania, and 569 for Europe.
> Who can contribute to the location database?
Any full member may create a new entry or modify any existing entry.
> Why are all the entries are demolished or boring? By the way, I just joined UER and I'm a new member.
Basic members and non-members are only able to see locations which are marked Publically Viewable or Demolished, but there are many other locations in there that are viewable only to full members.
> What do I need in order to create a new entry?
You should know its geographic location and have pictures you've taken there. Plus you need to fill in the TYPE field, as well as COUNTRY, CITY, and PROVINCE/STATE. You must have a main picture, and in order to receive full validation there must be a photo gallery.
And of course, this link:
> Should I add a location if I haven't been there yet?
No. You're obviously just squatting on the space so that when other people visit, they'll be obligated to post in your entry.
> Should I add a location if I have been there, but don't have any pictures?
If you have information about it, it can be useful for getting others to visit. Hopefully someone else will have pictures to put up. Until then, don't be surprised if it only gets conditional validation. Are you sure you can't find any pictures? Even something taken on your phone?
> Should I add a location if I've visited, but only got exteriors and couldn't get inside?
Yes, and it may remain conditionally validated until you update with pictures of the interior. Consider this a reminder to do it.
> What doesn't belong in the location database?
There's no one single rule. Some locations that are public are okay. We do frown on tourist locations, even if they are of ruins like the Pyramids of Giza.
Active locations aren't a great idea, unless they involve some sort of infiltration or you get somewhere interesting, such as the rooftop of an active building, or backstage in an amusement park.
Graveyards, while certainly UE-worthy locations, tend to get booted from the LDB unless they're (a) abandoned and (b) photogenic.
We occasionally have purges of locations that we don't want in there.
> What should I name the location?
It's best to use the real name if you know it. If the real name is too sensitive, you're always free to set its viewability to private. If you don't know the actual name, or there isn't one (ie for a house), a nickname is acceptable, and you can always change it later if you learn the real name.
> What's the purpose of the "Type" setting?
There are only four official types, Building, Drain, Tunnel, and Outdoors. If these aren't adequate for your location, you can type in your own.
Keep in mind that this field is used for certain types of searches, so if you come up with a name any more exotic it might not be as easily searchable.
> What do I put for Street Address, City, Province / State, and Country?
Try to keep this information accurate. IE don't lie and say it's in a different city just because you're trying to hide it. Don't use any abbreviations; ie for Texas, don't put TX. And be sure to use proper capitalisation. Street Address is an optional field.
It is also acceptable to make different use of the city/province/state fields. For instance, Hawaii locations are listed by island rather than city, and Seoul is listed as a province for organisational reasons. As long as it makes sense.
> What if it's not in a city?
Take your best guess. You must put something in the City field. You can either put the closest city, or find a county name, or write something like "countryside."
> Should I put in the map coordinates?
If you know them, sure. If you don't know the exact location, be sure to note that in Co-ordinate Accuracy.
> What if I don't want to share information on the location?
You can leave out certain types of information such as map coordinates, street address, and official name. You may not falsify map coordinates or street address.
> How do I get sensitive information on someone else's entry removed?
It's probably best to contact them directly about it. While you have the ability to change the entry, it's best to talk to the contributor about it rather than just go ahead and vandalise their entry with no reason given.
> Should I fill out the Historical section?
This section is optional. If you have accurate information, definitely. If you're going to add rumours or unconfirmed information, make sure you note it as such.
> What should I put for the Status field?
You're given seven categories to choose from: Abandoned, Under Construction, Being Demolished, Closed, Active, Demolished, and Repurposed. Remember that if you select Demolished, the location will automatically be set to Publically Viewable.
If none of these apply, you can write your own in the field provided. Keep it brief.
> How do I set the Accessibility?
Go by your own frame of reference. Easy should mean you had no trouble walking right in, and Difficult should mean you had to challenge yourself.
> What should I put for Interesting Features?
Put anything here that you think would make this place really worth seeing.
> What do I put for Recommendation?
For this, you're given five options:
1) drop everything - must see
2) worth the trip
3) check it out if you're nearby
4) not very exciting
5) forget it
Although these can be a little esoteric, it's probably just best to think of this as a grade from 1 to 5.
> Do I need to fill in Media Coverage, Future Plans, Description, and Web Links?
You definitely should put something for Description, but all fields are optional.
> Do I need a Main Picture?
Yes. All locations need a Main Picture.
> Should I write a Story?
If you have something interesting to say about a visit there, a Story is a good idea. For everything else, you can just start a thread on the entry page. Note that you can link a story to a gallery, in case you're telling a story about a particular visit.
You can also edit stories later. Anyone has the privilege to edit other people's stories, but it's probably not a good idea to do so without their permission.
> Should I create a Panorama?
If you have one, sure. The site software is pretty intuitive.
> Should I add a Photo Gallery?
Yes, if you ever hope to get your entry out of Conditional Validation Hell.
> Should I make my gallery anonymous?
If you really must, sure, it's an option. However, why is it anonymous? Security reasons? You don't want to get caught? If you don't trust the full-member system of UER enough to post, maybe you shouldn't upload. Plus, irritatingly, it makes not only you anonymous, but any other contributor to the entry, and even the moderator granting validation.
The software is a bit glitchy, so it would likely be possible for moderators to figure out who you are.
> Should I make this gallery available to the general public and Level 2 users?
I don't even know if this feature works. If the location entry itself is public or private, tagging this box or untagging it will have no effect.
> What format should my pictures be in?
They must be *.JPG format. You don't need to worry about them being too big, as UER will resize them. You also have the option to rotate your pictures after they've been uploaded, so if you don't have a lot of editing to do, you can just put them in as they are.
> Should I add my credit statement into each picture?
This just creates a very basic watermark in your image. It's mostly useful if you're concerned about your images being stolen from the LDB and used somewhere else. Probably best to do it just to be safe.
> What's Step 2?
Photo captions, descriptions, and reordering the photos in the gallery if necessary.
> How many pictures can I upload?
You can upload up to ten at a time, to a total of 25 per gallery.
> But I want to upload more!
You should probably reconsider this. Why does your gallery need more than 25 photos? It will reduce the number of people willing to look through it all.
> What about creating multiple galleries?
There are a few exceptions. For instance, if you visited two distinctly different buildings. Or, if you've been on several visits and you want to upload one gallery from each time. You cannot create two different galleries together: the site software makes you wait a few days. However, this can be overridden by a moderator.
If you need to upload more than the standard one gallery/25 photos, contact a moderator about overriding the limit. All we need to do is press a button.
> Can I upload content not originally created by me?
UER hopes that all content uploaded by its members to the LDB is owned by those members. However, sometimes historical photographs, newspaper articles, or articles from other websites appear in the LDB.
UER follows the general policies of "Fair Use" in these cases. The information or photographs will be displayed until the original owner or license holder requests for them to be removed.
UER is full of photographers, so if you're passing off someone else's photos as your own, you will probably be discovered sooner or later and there will be consequences.
> What content is not allowed in the database?
Any photographs depicting pornography are not allowed in the LDB, as there is a risk it could show up on the front page at an inopportune moment. I know I've been caught violating this one a few times.
Please ensure, if you are uploading photos containing unobscured faces, that you have the permission of the person(s) in those photographs.
UER reserves the right to selectively censor or delete any photographs which violate these policies.
Any kind of information which reveals entrance details (such as locations of fence holes, unlocked doors, etc) is not allowed.
> Who owns the photos once I've uploaded them?
When you upload photographs to the UER Location Database, you are granting UER a license to display the photos alongside your name or credit. This license can be revoked by you (and you only) at any time, and the affected photos will subsequently be removed as soon as possible.
This policy only applies if you are the owner of the photographs in question. Any photos uploaded for which you do not have the distribution rights (photos you did not take) are not affected by the preceding policy.
> What about stories?
When you create a new "story", you are granting UER a license to display the story alongside your name or credit. This license can be revoked by you (and only you) at any time, and the affected stories will subsequently be removed as soon as possible.
This policy only applies if you are the original author of the story. Any stories of which you are not the author (such as newspaper articles) are not affected by the preceding policy.
> I'm ready to show off my entry. What do I do now?
Before it's viewable by anyone, including moderators, you must click the Make Available button on the Location Gallery Edit page.
> How do I get my location validated?
Once you've hit the Make Available button, the entry will enter a queue where moderators will see it. At some point over the next few days, weeks, or months, depending on how lazy we are, it will receive validation.
> What does validation even mean?
Validation just means that it looks right to the moderator who validated it. We don't know if it's real or fake, or what its status is. All we can judge is whether it fits the criteria of a location entry.
> What is conditional validation?
Conditional validation is given if we have some sort of problem with the entry, but we figure you will get around to fixing it on your own if we're just patient.
The most common reasons for conditional validation are:
-no main picture
-no photo gallery or not enough pictures
-no proof of entry
-looks like a crap location
Conditional validation grants the entry a provisional validation of three months, at which point it turns up in our queue again. At this point, we'll probably conditionally validate it again, but if it's been bouncing back here for a couple years without any updates, we might just delete it. If it's just an issue of not having enough pictures, we probably will still keep it in the hope that someone actually does visit and gets photos for an update. But if the information is weak or it doesn't look very interesting, it could get sent to the deletion queue.
> How do I bump my location's conditional validation up to full validation?
See what's wrong with it. Chances are you just don't have enough pictures. If it's not clear, feel free to contact the moderator who conditionally validated it to find out why.
> My location's been added to the deletion queue! What do I do?
You will have received an automated message from the moderator who moved it to the deletion queue, which contained an explanation. Probably it wasn't complete, or didn't contain enough pictures. Possibly it's a duplicate location.
It will be sitting in a queue, possibly for quite a long time, so you have time to rescue it.
> My location's been demolished. What do I have to do now?
The only edit you really need to make is to change the status to Demolished. This will make it publically viewable. Don't bother changing every detail, such as Recommendation.
> What do I do if my location is no longer abandoned?
Change the status to Repurposed. It's okay to keep it Full Members Only.
> When should I make a thread in a location entry?
This is a good place to keep a conversation going. If you don't want to just modify an existing entry, but maybe want to confirm details, ask for updates, or something related, this is the place. If you have comments about the site that aren't related to the pictures in the gallery, you can start a thread.
> Can I modify someone else's LDB entry?
Of course, as long as you're not vandalising the entry. All contributions should be positive additions to the entry. For instance, a photo gallery, updates on status/hazards/etc, or more accurate descriptive information.
Removing or falsifying textual database information placed in the database by another member, or by yourself at a previous instance, shall be deemed as Vandalism of the Location Database, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
Remember, once created, an entry becomes part of the UER community and does not "belong" to the person who created it.
> Some jerk modified my entry! What the hell?
If they added pictures, great. If they improved on the information you provided, great. If they deleted info you put or changed it in a way you disagree with, you should send them a message or contact a moderator.
Remember that the information in the LDB is part of the community in the same way information on Wikipedia is.
> I found a duplicate of a site I created! What can we do?
Which came first? If yours is oldest, you should probably just contact a moderator. If the other is oldest, you'll need to move your gallery into theirs. You can also merge any of your information into their entry as well.
Technically, anyone can move any database gallery to any other location. The moderators will take notice, so it's probably best you only use this for moving your own pictures.
> Should I make my entry publically viewable or private?
If you only want UER full members to see it, mark it private. When in doubt, it's probably best to go with private. You always have the choice with any location to change its privacy setting.
If it's demolished, it will automatically be changed to public.
Having it public means it can be indexed by search engines and visible to the world outside UER.
> How do I search the database?
There are four search methods. The first is obviously clicking through based on continent/country/city names.
The second is the Location List Filter, which allows you to screen for particular contributors, particular names, Type, or Status.
The third method is the Location Map, which places all locations on an online map tool.
Last, there is the more extensive Location Search feature.
> What makes for a good location?
Obviously it must meet the standards for receiving full validation. Beyond solid and accurate data, it helps to have helpful pictures and background information.
Rather than turning your entry into an art gallery, you might be better off sharing pictures that give an overview of the location and its condition. Ideally you're preparing others to go there; showing off your photography skills is better suited for the forums. We also hope that you can share a bit more about the history of the place and other details such as news and websites, as the objective of the LDB is to catalogue locations and learn about them.
> Where do I go for help with the LDB?
The best place to get the quickest answer is the Contact a Moderator forum, found here:
You could also try directly contacting the relevant moderator about issues you're having. These days Mike Dijital is most active in the LDB. You could also contact me or Emperor Wang.
Or I guess you could post a reply in here.
> Won't adding a location to the LDB ensure its destruction?
Possibly, but it may have happened if you didn't add it anyway.
[last edit 2/3/2015 10:50 AM by Ganesha - edited 2 times]
|I love to read forum posts about explores; they’re hugely entertaining and informative. But it’s like reading an adventure magazine; the posts almost never seem to be about places where I can or want to go. |
The UE database is the better vehicle for finding sites and learning about them. It’s designed to be searched (more so than forum posts anyhow). And its contents don’t get archived (tho it is periodically housecleaned); so people can search everything that’s out there. This is where you can do the UE community the most service, if you’re so inclined.
I love to write documentation. So here’s more than you may want to know about how to create a location. I’ll just touch on a few important policies here; see Steed's FAQ (preceding this post) for complete policy information. Please correct or improve these instructions. Thank you!
First of all, you have to be a full member to create a database location. If you overlooked the instructions for becoming a full member, please see the Rookie Forum, or follow this link, http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post0
In the left sidebar, click UE DB. Navigate down the hierarchical lists to your location's country and state/province (could be different from where you live). Read “Available Locations” for towns which are close to your location. If your location is in the database already, stop. Creating another location that’s identical to an existing one would lead to confusion; instead, contribute to the existing location you’ve found.
If your location doesn’t already exist, scroll down to the Tasks section. Click CREATE A NEW LOCATION.
Read “Location Database Policies.” To proceed, enter a name for your location. If the location is sensitive and its real name seems like too much information, give it a generic name. Click CREATE NOW. At this point, your location gets created; but only you can see it.
Now you get a page with a series of areas I’ll call “Overview” from which you can go to more detailed pages and do stuff; the top left area is labelled “Main Information.” Notice the top right area, “Status;” it shows who can see the location, and lists tasks required to make the location visible to others. There are three levels of access;
1. You only. Every new location defaults to this level.
2. Full members of UER only
3. All registered members of UER, including basic members (only to be used for locations that are public or demolished)
To qualify your location to be viewable by others, you must create at least the “Main information” and “Main picture” sections.
Enter (or update) your main information now, by clicking EDIT INFORMATION.
The field names and descriptions make what to enter pretty obvious; I suggest looking at all of them before you start typing in stuff, to avoid cramming information into one field that should really be in another. Some, like “History,” may need a little research; but there doesn’t seem to be a limit for how long you can have the location open, so I don’t think you need to have all your research, web links, etc. lined up before you charge ahead. (But that level of preparation would probably improve the quality of the location.)
Generally, fields aren’t required. My understanding of current geolocation policies:
* You may choose to omit the address if you want to vet new explorers or at least slow them down.
* You need to at least enter the real name of the city/town the site is in or near. If the site is too sensitive for that information to be published, don’t create a location for it.
* The same advice applies to the coordinates map that follows. Set “Co-ordinate accuracy” accordingly.
When you’re done typing (and after any update you make later on), scroll to the bottom of the page and click UPDATE LOCATION. Now you’re back at the overview.
Check “Status” again; the list of tasks to make the location viewable to others should now be shorter.
The next thing to do is to create a main picture. OSX users, your picture needs to be a file; you can’t upload to UER from iPhoto. Click MAIN PICTURE.
You see the Main Picture page. Click BROWSE to navigate to your picture file on your computer. When you’ve got it, click UPLOAD.
UER shows you messages about the progress of the upload. When it’s done, click RETURN TO LOCATION EDIT. Now you’re back at the overview.
To update your location later (or to update any other location), view it. In the overview, find the “Tasks” area on the right side and click VIEW LOCATION. Or just click UE DB in the left sidebar and navigate to the location. On the right side near the bottom of the view page, find the “Contribute” area. Click EDIT THIS LOCATION.
(Update) One reason why you might update your location is if a moderator has contacted you and asked you to provide more information. For example, Mike Dijital told me that my Pacific Sheet Metal location was only granted provisional 3-month availability because the moderators like to see at least one photo gallery for the location. (I'll post a separate tutorial about photo galleries to this thread.)
Check “Status” again. You should see “This location is ready to be made available.” You can do this now, or create or update more sections of your location. You can also create or update more sections after you’ve made your location available.
When you click MAKE AVAILABLE in “Status” your location advances to Level 2 access; all full members can see and update it. Yes that’s part of the sharing; you don’t own the location you created, altho your screen name will always remain as its creator. Also, only you can change the main picture.
Now the button in “Status” changes to MAKE FULLY PUBLIC. If you click it, the location advances to Level 3 Access; any registered UER member, including basic members, can see it. This level is for locations that are public or demolished.
To create a new forum thread about this database location that’s linked to the location, view the location. Scroll to the bottom of the view page. In area “Forum threads about this location” click NEW THREAD. The thread is placed on a board that's only accessible via the database; so it's not a good place for a post that you hope will be widely read.
Please correct or improve these instructions. Thank you!
Note: I copied this post from the UE Tutorials / Database thread. I'll leave that version up per UER policies, but this version is the most current.
[last edit 2/3/2015 10:53 AM by Ganesha - edited 1 times]
"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
|A location can have galleries (the moderators like it to have at least one). Anybody who can see a location can create a gallery for it.|
There are two ways to get started. One is to view the location, scroll down and watch for "Photo galleries" on the left side and click ADD MY OWN PICTURES. Or, while editing the location, scroll the overview page down and find the gallery area on the left side; click ADD A NEW GALLERY.
Either way, you go to a gallery overview page. It works like the location overview page; you can work in any area, in any order. Entering "Basic gallery info" first seems sensible. Other good buttons are ADD NEW PICTURES and EDIT PICTURES.
If you're ADDing, you go to this upload navigator. It's different and kludgier than the one the forums use. You need to navigate on your computer to each individual picture, even if they're all in the same folder. Although a gallery can hold 25 pictures, you can only upload 10 at a time. When you've got them set up, click UPLOAD at the bottom of the display.
You see messages reporting the status of the upload. When it's done, use the buttons at the bottom to either navigate to more pictures or move on to Step 2, the edit page.
The editor lets you massage the gallery in various ways. The middle area's buttons act on the pictures whose thumbnails you check as "Selected" in the bottom area.
Please correct or improve these instructions; thanks!
Note: I copied this post from the UE Tutorials / Database thread. I'll leave that version up, per UER policies; but this version is the most current.
[last edit 2/3/2015 10:54 AM by Ganesha - edited 2 times]
"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
|I want to see locations near me.|
In the left sidebar click UE DB. This brings up the Location List Filter. This page displays the list first, then the controls, and then Help. But, this isn't the page we want! In the top left corner click Location Search.
This brings up the Location Search. This page has controls at the top, then a list of search results. On the right, near the top, find "By distance." Check Distance from you. Set the distance (this is a Canadian site, so get used to kilometers).
Scroll down and click Search Locations. You'll get a list of locations in that area.
(This feature depends on the latitude and longitude you set under "Requested Information" in My Options.)
...But, I don't want to see demolished locations.
In Location Search, near the bottom of the controls, find "By Status." Uncheck the statuses you don't want to include. Click Search Locations.
Location List Filter has a similar feature. Scroll down to the controls. In "Location List Filter" uncheck Demolished. Click Update filter.
Can't I just see them on a map?
In the left sidebar click DB Map. Wait a bit; a map appears (the key to the symbols is at the bottom right). Zoom in to your location. As you get closer, summary symbols that show location counts will divide into individual location pins. Click any pin to go to that location.
(This feature may not work on iOS Safari.)
I want to set a shortcut to my favorite location so I can just jump to it.
Go to the location. In the top left corner, under "Viewing Options" click Subscribe this location.
To see a list of your subscribed locations, in the left sidebar click My DB. The list includes alert buttons so you can track changes to your subscribed locations.
The random picture I see when I connect to UER is so I want to go there!
Click the random picture. This brings up the gallery that holds the picture. At the bottom right, under "Controls," click Return to main location page. (The label seems a bit odd because normally you would go to a gallery from a location.) This takes you to the location to which the gallery belongs.
I want to admire (or edit) the locations and galleries I created.
In the left sidebar click My Profile. In the profile, scroll down to "More information." Here are two buttons; View all locations this user has created and View all galleries this user has created. Each will take you to the Location List Filter, pre-filled with your screen name.
You can look at the locations and galleries any other user has created, too, by going to the user's profile. Click the user's name over the avatar on any forum post. Or, click Members in the left sidebar to search for the user.
No matter what I do, I see hardly any locations. Oh and I'm new here.
If you are a basic member, you will only be able to see public locations. About one-third of the locations in the LDB are public. In the left sidebar click FAQ to find out how to apply for full membership.
[last edit 2/3/2015 4:28 PM by Ganesha - edited 4 times]
"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
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