The best part of exploring abandoned buildings is the hunt itself. It can feel a bit like a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt all rolled into one activity. If you’re wondering how to find abandoned buildings to explore, it can be tough since many explorers are tight-lipped about their explorations. They’re not about to give clues to the authorities, be arrested for trespassing, or send hordes of people to their favorite locations. You’ll have to find your own locations when you’re first starting this fun
Google Earth for Urban Exploring
A great way to find abandoned properties is through Google Earth. You can sit in the comfort of your chair and get a street view of locations where you think there are abandoned buildings. Instead of trekking through the woods to a suspected location, you can narrow in on it through the wonders of satellite imagery. If it’s in the woods, you likely can’t get a street view, but you’ll be able to pinpoint locations you want to explore further.
Industrial areas are great for exploration. You’ll be able to see if there is trash or rubble on the ground with Google Earth views. This is usually a good indication that the location is abandoned. To use Google Earth, you can download the app on your phone or computer, or view it using your browser online. It only supports Firefox and Internet Explorer. Sorry, Chrome users.
Forums That are All About Urban Exploration
When you join a forum with other urban explorers, you’re able to share your hobby with others who have a deep understanding and appreciation for your passion. Like other hobbies, it’s always fun to be able to have a conversation or friendly debate with someone who gets it.
Along with conversations between like-minded individuals, you’re able to share information on locations with people you feel you can trust. Many forums don’t allow locations to be shared in the general chat, but there are private messages for those who want to share locations. It’s a great place to share pictures and other information, too. It’s probably best that you don’t use your real name, but stick to an alias on the forums for safety. Urbex Forums is a good place to start. You can also find forums on Reddit.
Exploring the City Like You’ve Never Seen it Before
You can choose to explore the city before or after you’ve taken a glance at Google Earth. Unfortunately, Google Earth might have outdated pictures, so while it’s a good place to start, it’s no substitute for actually exploring in your car or on foot.
When you’re on the way to work, take a few minutes to travel down a different route. Make note of any abandonments you see along the way. You could also make a new route each day at home before setting out for work. Give yourself an extra half hour to explore different aspects of the city, you might be surprised at what you’ll find in a city you thought you knew.
Default or Foreclosure Properties in Your Area
It’s not difficult to find foreclosure properties on sites like Zillow or Trulia. Once you find a few addresses, plug them into Google Earth or take a trip past them when you’re running other errands. When you are on the hunt for abandoned properties, there are plenty of opportunities for going out of your way during other trips.
When you find a likely location, you can see the signs of disrepair that will indicate it’s abandoned. Look for weeds growing in the yard, overgrown grass, cracked walkways and a driveway with weeds coming through the cracks. These are all great indications of a property that has been neglected because it’s abandoned. Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll begin to notice many things that indicate an abandoned property.
An App That Will Help Find Abandoned Buildings to Explore
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can use the Abandoned app by THE FORM. The app gives you the exact locations of abandoned places right on a map. The app relies heavily on the community to give information for the pins. It allows users to post their own photos and stories regarding the location including lore and history.
If there’s a way to get inside the location, users can give that information to other users, too. For example, the building might have a fence on the door, but there’s a window that explorers can use to enter. You can also store private exploration locations in the app that you don’t want to share with others, but that you want to find again.
Whether you want to use Google Earth or explore the city on your own, there are a variety of ways that you can individualize your exploration that will suit your style. When you’re wondering how to find abandoned buildings to explore, you can use a combination of any of these methods.