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UER Mobile > UE Tutorials, Lessons, and Useful Info > How to: find damn near anything (Viewed 62634 times)

post by bouncewiggle   |  | 
How to: find damn near anything
< on 8/16/2010 7:35 PM >

One of the most common problems new explorers run into is how to find locations. Every regional board has at least one thread started by a new-to-UER person asking where the best local spots are hiding. The following is a compilation of tips and tricks that I use or have seen others use. Hopefully it will help point some people in the right direction.

This is just a general guide, and is by no means comprehensive. If others have tips and tricks that they would like to share, that is highly encouraged. I'll add to this when I come across new resources or think of things that I forgot to include.




1. Get outside and look around.

This is the most obvious (and likely most used) way to find locations. The easiest way to find locations is by driving or walking around wherever you may be. Get outside and keep your eyes open! Scaffolding and fire escapes are good ways for getting to rooftops. Creeks in cities often go underground at some point, which will lead you to some sweet drains. Doors that are shut aren't necessarily locked.



2. Google is your friend.


Google has helped me to find my favorite locations. Often just a few tidbits of information and 10 minutes of weeding through results will lead you in the right direction. Knowing the type of structure (theater, power plant, etc.) and a general location (city, town, etc.) is sometimes all you need. Occasionally you might need to dig a little deeper.

Google News search is a good way to find articles concerning construction of new drains, problems with old or abandoned buildings, complaints to the city about that terrible old factory down the road, new constructions that have run out of money, etc. The internet is a beautiful thing - use it!


3. Google Earth and Bing

Aerial view and bird's eye view are great tools for finding locations. They can also help you decide if there are active buildings nearby so you'll know if you need to go during the day or pre-dawn it. Outfalls can be spotted this way too, although determining their height is often tricky. Sometimes the maps are outdated and buildings have been demolished, but this is a good starting point.


4. Flickr


Searching "name of city + abandoned" will often lead you to glory. This can give you not only locations, but good information about security and maybe even possible entry locations. It will also let you know what shots are exhausted so that you don't come back with the same photos everyone has seen a million times. ;)



5. City resources/GIS Databases


Some cities have put their GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data online. For example, Indianapolis: http://imaps.indyg...lViewer/viewer.htm. If you zoom in far enough, you can look at the layer that contains sewer and storm drain maps. No size is listed, but using this in conjunction with Google Earth/Bing + walking around will definitely get you some good leads.

Not all cities put this sort of information online in such nice formats, but sometimes they will post about upcoming construction projects or have PDFs of such data available. Check your city of interest to see if such resources exist. Also, some cities (such as Detroit) are selling or auctioning off abandoned property. Checking their websites can lead you to locations sometimes.


6. http://Skyscrapercity.com (that's a link, click it!)

This is helpful for finding cranes and construction projects, if that sort of exploring is what you enjoy. It isn't always well updated, however. Sometimes construction sites will have webcams that track their progress. By looking through their past captures you can determine when workers are present and what security you might encounter.


7. http://Emporis.com (that's a link, click it!)

This is more of a historical fact finder website for explorers (although the site itself is real estate related). If you know a target building's name, you can enter it into the search and find out when the building was built, the architects, height, etc. This may be more useful after an explore, but I always find the history of buildings to be quite interesting.






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post by don_corleyone   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 1 on 8/16/2010 7:47 PM >

TL;DR


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post by \/adder   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 2 on 8/16/2010 9:03 PM >

8. Train Tracks.

Almost everything built before the advent of modern shipping required things be shipped to and from location via train tracks. You can follow tracks along major rivers and find all sorts of industrialized goodies.


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post by jeepdave   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 3 on 8/17/2010 12:35 AM >

Exits that have a closed gas station on them and look empty. Get off the hiway and drive a couple miles down one way or the other. You would be surprised at what you find. x2 on the train tracks. Those are where you find awesome little nuggets.


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post by seicer   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 4 on 8/17/2010 1:58 AM >

http://mapper.acme.com and other sites that carry the USGS quads


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post by MonkeyPunchBaby   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 5 on 8/17/2010 2:08 AM >

This is awesome. I am one of the fools that have asked for help on places. Some of these I already use. If you live in a city with a major river or other type of major body of water you can look along them. Thats how Chris-Kicker and I have found a couple of places.


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post by splumer   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 6 on 8/17/2010 12:11 PM >

Also worth mentioning is getting off of main roads when scouting. Buildings off the beaten path are more likely to not get re-used after being abandoned, and less traffic means an easier entry.


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post by Gutter Monkey   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 7 on 8/17/2010 4:43 PM >

Your local heritage organisation might well have a website that lists almost every old building in your entire state. I know mine does:

http://vhd.heritag....au/#advanced;user

That handy site even lets you search their database by category. Want a list of all the historically significant railway water towers, graving dock, gun emplacements, leprosariums, fellmongeries and sluicing holes in your state? If you have no idea what the fuck half those things are it also lists factories, fortifications, funfairs, hospitals, monasteries, mills and the other usual UE targets, giving the date of construction and usually the full street address. You can even search by municipality and download that list as a .pdf file. There's over 600 heritage listed sites in my municipality alone, several within blocks of my house that I never knew existed.


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post by jeepdave   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 8 on 8/17/2010 10:08 PM >

Don't forget the superfund site list, or has it been mentioned. Meh, I'm tired today.


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post by \/adder   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 9 on 8/17/2010 11:22 PM >

Posted by jeepdave
Don't forget the superfund site list, or has it been mentioned. Meh, I'm tired today.


Brownfields are safer.


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post by Felonious Monk   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 10 on 8/18/2010 2:06 PM >

Posted by TheVicariousVadder
8. Train Tracks.

Almost everything built before the advent of modern shipping required things be shipped to and from location via train tracks. You can follow tracks along major rivers and find all sorts of industrialized goodies.


Also, don't forget JUST following larger rivers in bing or on the street too. There's lots of industry and mills located right along the river. If you could bring it by train, you could most likely bring it by boat.


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post by \/adder   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 11 on 8/18/2010 2:15 PM >

Also many cities have ordinances prohibiting building residential areas over large underground caverns, usually drains and tunnels will run parallel to the road. Sometimes they need to utilize a space larger than the width of the road, and that's why many cities have parks and ball fields. The only thing I've ever seen above a large holding container for a stormwater system was a parking garage.


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post by bouncewiggle   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 12 on 8/18/2010 3:36 PM >

These are all great, guys! Thanks. =)


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post by vov35   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 13 on 8/18/2010 7:02 PM >

Posted by TheVicariousVadder
8. Train Tracks.

Almost everything built before the advent of modern shipping required things be shipped to and from location via train tracks. You can follow tracks along major rivers and find all sorts of industrialized goodies.


holy shit thanks, I just found a paper mill in biking distance. I'll go to daniels, henryton, and then there... lol, all along the same river and tracks... damn...


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post by KingJalopy   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 14 on 9/1/2010 6:50 AM >

Use Acme Mapper, and use the topographical maps. These can show you structures of all types, above ground, and under.


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post by hilite   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 15 on 9/2/2010 5:22 PM >

Flickr is great for abandonements, but I use it most to gain info about active sites.

I usually go on flick river, Search "city name"+ "construction" and search by most recent pictures. Muggle's like to take pictures of skyscrapers under construction.


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post by Air   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 16 on 9/2/2010 5:35 PM >

This should be stickied and made mandatory reading for everyone new much like forum rules.


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post by badgerbadger   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 17 on 9/2/2010 9:14 PM >

#1 is my heroin.


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post by uLiveAndYouBurn   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 18 on 9/15/2010 4:03 AM >

http://skyvector.com/

That will show you any structure over 200 feet anywhere in the United States and parts of Canada. The little triangles are towers, near them you will find heights in both above ground and above sea level. Use this to get a general fix, then use google or bing to find the specific coordinates and then you can search the FCC database with the location to find out what kind of tower it is.


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post by AndyA55555   |  | 
Re: How to: find damn near anything
<Reply # 19 on 10/2/2010 8:22 PM >

I only typically use #1 and #3 - spot something nearby during the day, and then investigate with Google Map and see what they lay of the land is and what areas are active or inactive.


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