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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments? (Viewed 1295 times)
s0phie 


Location: Wisconsin
Gender: Female
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Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< on 4/24/2020 6:35 AM >
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i've been working for a while on a better way of finding industrial abandonments en masse in an efficient/semi-automated way. one of the nice things about this is that a lot of the data you need to find out whether a property is abandoned already exists on the internet somewhere.

i've had some success looking at things like ownership by economic development boards (in the NYC region, was able to find locations i already knew about).

some other stuff i've tried includes power line maps from DHS, looking at zoning GIS data, and looking for things along rivers.

i'm curious if people here have found specific things that they look for in city/county open data records that are strongly correlated with abandonment outside of the obvious things like tax delinquency and bank ownership/foreclosure?




Aran 


Location: Bozeman, MT
Gender: Male
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 1 on 4/24/2020 6:42 AM >
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Demolition contracts. I haven't done too much investigation into them myself but I've been told that they can be a good resource. If a city is planning on tearing an abandoned building down they have to hire a contractor, and most municipalities put out bids on the contracts well in advance since bureaucracy is slow.

I've personally found some leads on abandoned schools through city council records and such- closing a school requires a school board meeting and putting it up for sale means a real estate listing, and both of those leave paper trails that are open to the public.



[last edit 4/24/2020 6:44 AM by Aran - edited 1 times]

"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

Explorer Zero 


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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 2 on 4/24/2020 11:17 AM >
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Gas stations.

I burned a Hell of a lot of gas exploring over the last 20 years.





Steed 


Location: Edmonton/Seoul
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 3 on 4/24/2020 11:52 AM >
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Sadly, the most useful tool for me these days is Instagram. It doesn't hurt that I search in a language that isn't used much outside one small peninsula, and every hit for "abandoned factory" in that language (폐공장) will be something I can take public transportation to.




KD20 


Location: Northeast Ohio
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 4 on 4/24/2020 12:43 PM >
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Specifically related to industrial locations, EPA cleanup lists are a good resource.




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urbX360 


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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 5 on 4/24/2020 4:59 PM >
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Aran's tip is actually really good, never thought of that. Usually finding places on private facebook groups, sometimes on Instagram. But demolitions contracts seems like an absolute way of finding things.




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Tatz 


Location: Evansville, IN
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 6 on 4/24/2020 5:25 PM >
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Found on the UE Tutorials, Lessons, and Useful Info Forum:

https://www.uer.ca...d=1&threadid=83183

I see you're in your first month or two. Welcome to the forum! I highly recommend spending a LOT of time scouring the rookie and tutorials forum, especially in your first few months.

I will also say that I'm able to find mass quantity of sites from my personal research, but the highest quality of sites I've found thru dumb luck, taking some risks, and going out with other experienced explorers.




Radio2600 


Location: On the Road to Wellville
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HY KAK TO TAK

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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 7 on 4/24/2020 5:45 PM >
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Condemnations and CO revocations.

When most buildings, including houses, go vacant for extended periods, they get either condemned or have their Certificate of Occupancy (CO) revoked by the local building code enforcement agency. This can result from trivial violations of the local building codes (grass too high, peeling paint, rubbish sitting outside, etc.) and do not necessarily mean the building is all that unsafe. It's often times, just a money-making opportunity for the local government. You fix the violation and pay the town X amount of money to remove the condemnation.

In the US there are what are known as Sunshine Laws. With some exceptions, any official action by a government agency is a public record and has to be made available to the public. In the case of an action by a building inspection or zoning agency, it would undoubtedly be a public record.

The downside is there is no standard for how these records are made available to the public. Some agencies have them online and others you have to physically make an in-person request to view them.

For instance, below is a condemnation put on a building in the Town of Oyster Bay, NY. The Town of Oyster Bay does not have their list of unsafe buildings online. You would have to physically go into the office and ask to see it.








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s0phie 


Location: Wisconsin
Gender: Female
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 8 on 4/24/2020 7:35 PM >
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Posted by Tatz
Found on the UE Tutorials, Lessons, and Useful Info Forum:

https://www.uer.ca...d=1&threadid=83183

i've seen that post before! it's got some good info.


I see you're in your first month or two. Welcome to the forum! I highly recommend spending a LOT of time scouring the rookie and tutorials forum, especially in your first few months.


yep joined a short bit ago. i read a large number of threads in those two forums before joining and i'm still doing that.


I will also say that I'm able to find mass quantity of sites from my personal research, but the highest quality of sites I've found thru dumb luck, taking some risks, and going out with other experienced explorers.


that's been my experience as well, although i do like using research as a way of building out actual maps of things that i want to visit if they're larger (tunnels). i've had dcent success with this (thanks, people that forget to remove old presentation pdfs from their sites); less with abandonments, for probably the reasons other people have mentioned (likely to be overvisited if it's too obvious in public data, etc). there's no substitute for talking to other explorers


Post by Radio2600
Condemnations and CO revocations.

Post by Aran
Demolition contracts.


I haven't looked at these before! thanks for the tips. i've looked at redevelopment plans from city councils which can be helpful for finding things before demolition is even contracted out, but i didn't even think about CO revocations.


one thing that i personally really enjoy that i rarely see people mention is googledorking. you can search something like
sewerage.city.gov filetype:pdf
and get things that admins forgot to remove from their servers. even if they're not linked to anymore, if google has ever happened to crawl those files, they should be visible




ryanpics 


Location: Central Va
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 9 on 4/26/2020 4:56 AM >
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Maps are always my main way of finding places. But I have other things in the past that work pretty well. If there's a place that's notorious for having a type of place close, like Detroit's schools, you can look for old news articles about potential school closures, then research the individual ones once you find the names. I've always had more trouble than usual finding specific power plants from pictures. Generally there will be a wikipedia page on the power plants in a state, including ones that have been decommissioned. If that doesn't include it for whatever reason, maybe because it's too old of a plant, there's an EPA spreadsheet somewhere that includes all of the generating and pollution stats from every single power generating site in the country, past and present, no matter the size. However, the sheer size of the list makes finding places off of it extremely difficult. Not to mention how hard it is to find the document itself. The only time I used it was to check the status on a place near me after discovering that there was literally zero information on it online.

And your gonna want Excel or Google Sheets so you can sort through the information. Just had a quick look back at it and oh my was it a lot of data. Good luck.



[last edit 4/26/2020 5:01 AM by ryanpics - edited 1 times]

Explorer Zero 


Total Likes: 2016 likes




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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 10 on 4/26/2020 6:36 PM >
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Posted by KD20
Specifically related to industrial locations, EPA cleanup lists are a good resource.


The Superfund site has most but not all declared cleanup locations however I learned yeeaars and years ago some county attorneys will slam you with extra pain and suffering for trespass on a Superfund site, even though its under federal law/jurisdiction, district courts recognize this.

Often they have issued a violation to the property owner and give them a specified amount of time to clean it up before they do. Six months, six years, it will vary some never clean it up at all and the feds dont always follow up.




s0phie 


Location: Wisconsin
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 5 likes




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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 11 on 4/27/2020 5:11 AM >
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Posted by ryanpics
Maps are always my main way of finding places. But I have other things in the past that work pretty well. If there's a place that's notorious for having a type of place close, like Detroit's schools, you can look for old news articles about potential school closures, then research the individual ones once you find the names. I've always had more trouble than usual finding specific power plants from pictures. Generally there will be a wikipedia page on the power plants in a state, including ones that have been decommissioned. If that doesn't include it for whatever reason, maybe because it's too old of a plant, there's an EPA spreadsheet somewhere that includes all of the generating and pollution stats from every single power generating site in the country, past and present, no matter the size. However, the sheer size of the list makes finding places off of it extremely difficult. Not to mention how hard it is to find the document itself. The only time I used it was to check the status on a place near me after discovering that there was literally zero information on it online.

And your gonna want Excel or Google Sheets so you can sort through the information. Just had a quick look back at it and oh my was it a lot of data. Good luck.


ooh i didnt know that the EPA published historical power plant data. i was gonna look at the EIA's stuff, but I'll have to check that out too. a huge spreadsheet doesn't hurt me. i do data science often for my research job; i can just ingest it and play with the data programmatically.




Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
Gender: Female
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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 12 on 4/27/2020 5:21 PM >
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Posted by Explorer Zero


The Superfund site has most but not all declared cleanup locations however I learned yeeaars and years ago some county attorneys will slam you with extra pain and suffering for trespass on a Superfund site, even though its under federal law/jurisdiction, district courts recognize this.

[…]



Habitations, Superfunds, and critical infrastructures (and getting caught with a weapon) are enhanced to class A misdemeanors in the state of Texas.
I know because my charges were enhanced under this very penal code.

https://statutes.c...s/PE/htm/PE.30.htm

So if you trespass on one of these sites, make sure it’s worth the risk!




I wandered till the stars went dim.
Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 1361 likes


Write something and wait expectantly.

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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 13 on 4/27/2020 5:22 PM >
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Posted by Explorer Zero


The Superfund site has most but not all declared cleanup locations however I learned yeeaars and years ago some county attorneys will slam you with extra pain and suffering for trespass on a Superfund site, even though its under federal law/jurisdiction, district courts recognize this.

[…]



Habitations, Superfunds, and critical infrastructures (and getting caught with a weapon) are enhanced to class A misdemeanors in the state of Texas.
I know because my charges were enhanced under this very penal code.

https://statutes.c...s/PE/htm/PE.30.htm

So if you trespass on one of these sites, make sure it’s worth the risk!




I wandered till the stars went dim.
Explorer Zero 


Total Likes: 2016 likes




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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 14 on 4/27/2020 11:47 PM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Posted by Dee Ashley


Habitations, Superfunds, and critical infrastructures (and getting caught with a weapon) are enhanced to class A misdemeanors in the state of Texas.
I know because my charges were enhanced under this very penal code.

https://statutes.c...s/PE/htm/PE.30.htm

So if you trespass on one of these sites, make sure it’s worth the risk!


Yes.

Class A is no fun, but now "enhanced Class A", well one can draw their own conclusion I rest my case.

Wish Texas just handed out Class C violation tickets like more & more slacker states but our county attorneys and district judges let dope sellers and meth freaks out usually on deferred adjudication all day every day and throw the damn book at trespassers, at least in rural counties where theres still some copper wire to harvest!




Aran 


Location: Bozeman, MT
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 1486 likes


Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 15 on 4/28/2020 2:12 AM >
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Fun fact, in some states (like Wisconsin) trespassing at a power plant can be a felony- namely, if any part of the property is still owned, leased, or used for production or energy transmission by the power company. This means that even if it's been abandoned for years, if they own the land or are just using the transformer station for transmission from other power plants its still a felony. Also, trespassing on nuclear power plants is a felony no matter what. The government takes its utilities seriously I guess.




"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

Explorer Zero 


Total Likes: 2016 likes




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Re: Legal/Open Data fingerprints of abandonments?
< Reply # 16 on 4/28/2020 3:49 AM >
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Posted by Aran
Fun fact, in some states (like Wisconsin) trespassing at a power plant can be a felony- namely, if any part of the property is still owned, leased, or used for production or energy transmission by the power company. This means that even if it's been abandoned for years, if they own the land or are just using the transformer station for transmission from other power plants its still a felony. Also, trespassing on nuclear power plants is a felony no matter what. The government takes its utilities seriously I guess.


Yep.
After 9/11 many critical infrastructures got "enhanced" attention not because some kids wearing hoodies wanted to shoot some artsy photos but because dams, power plants water supply all became highlights on the terrorist watchlist tour!




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