How to Find Abandoned Places

So you’ve decided to dip your toes into scouting… Maybe it was a cool video you saw on YouTube, or maybe you just wanted to see what was in that abandon building on the edge of town. Every explorer has a unique story of how scouting has become their hobby.

My name is Theodore, and I’m here to help you help identify locations that need scouting. Today I’m going to show you how to do so using Google maps. I chose this as the first tool to cover because 1) CityXcape is not yet released and 2) a majority of us already utilize this app. This seemingly mundane tool offers a plethora of information that you will find useful while scouting. 

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This map is my personal list of areas to be explored that I’ve found using Google maps. 

The first step is to find areas to scout. The easiest way is to find a set of railroad tracks or an established travel way- those are cues. These landmarks are typically strong indicators of nearby treasures such as abandoned buildings and pathways. To show the reliability of my theory, I’m going to utilize an area I’m unfamiliar with. Although I live in Ohio, I will search Pennsylvania.


Start with a global view of the city and begin looking for train tracks.

As you can see, I’ve found a set of train tracks on the North side. I have highlighted it in red. Now I pan the map to follow them until I’ve found what I’m looking for.


Following the tracks Northwest, I have found what I’m looking for- neglected civilization. The overgrown lot and shrubbery tell me this is a prime candidate to explore. This building probably hasn’t been used in many years.


Since I couldn’t find a street view on the map, I pulled the Street view app to confirm my assumption. The photos give me a clear idea of the interior of the building based on reconnaissance from a scout who was recently there.


The final task is to save the pin somewhere in a diary as one of the secret spots to explore when you have time. CityXcape will not only allow you to save all your discovered secret spots in one place but more importantly, it will also allow you to share the intel with other scouts to see whose down to join you for an adventure. It’s a big world out there, explore it!

What have you found today?

James AllanScoutsComment