Wow- so much land info is online. And visible to the Eye in the field.

Updated: Aug 22


by Marc Goodin


Who knew there is so much land info online to help you determine if a site is feasible for your next self-storage? The Storage Authority Team Does!


Boundary, topography, wetlands, flood limits, zoning regulations, zoning maps, owners' names & contact information, purchase price, how long on the market, and price reductions are just some of the items you can find online.


But never skip the site walk. Maps can be wrong or incomplete or things could have changed after the map was made. And yes walk the whole property. You never know when you will be surprised by ledge sticking out of the ground, overhead utility lines, a brook or swamp, etc


Topography: Check city mapping if no field mapping is provided by the agent.

If no city mapping online use the less accurate national mapping as follows:

Topography mapping from the USGS:

https://apps.nationalmap.gov/downloader/#/

• Type in the address on the right side of the map

• Select historic topography from the drop-down menu on the left of the screen

• Use + and – on the map to zoom in and out.

Remember often the contour interval is 10 feet so not very accurate but typically good to determine the magnitude and direction of the site.



USGS National topography Map


Wetlands: Check city mapping if no field mapping is provided by the agent. If no city mapping online use the less accurate national mapping as follows:


Wetlands Mapper | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (fws.gov)

• Shows wetlands and topography

• Click Wetlands Mapper

• Click Find Location

• Enter Address

• Click Base Maps

• Choose maps

• Zoom + or -



National Wetland Mapping. Blue Ponds, Green Wetlands



qpPublic.net Mapping

There is often local or other topo & wetland mapping that is more detailed than the above national mapping.

You should ask the city staff if any such mapping exists for the town. If not try qPublic.net.

qPublic.net (schneidercorp.com)

• Type in state

• Type in city/county/or area

• Click Search

• Click parcel number

• On the top click map

• Check boxes on the left side of the screen

• Not available in every county or city in the US


100 Year flood: Check city mapping if no field mapping is provided by the agent. If no city mapping online use the less accurate national mapping as follows:

USDHS FEMA 100-Year Flood Zones - CKAN - data.gov


• Click View Map

• Click Download

• Click Accept



FEMA – 100-year mapping



Use Google map search: address – map – add self-storage in nearby search bar to see/review competition. Don't forget Radiusplus or Stortrack to find out the size and more details about the competition.



Use Google map search to observe the site up close (brook, ponds, easements, other concerns area road network) In this case we superimposed the approx. property lines and brook running across the property.



Regrid | Nationwide Property Data and Mapping Tools for Everyone


You can search parcels from home on your computer by entering an address or when driving down the road using the GIS system. I love the aerial topography view.


You can walk a property and it will show you where you are on the property,


You can click on actual parcels, find the owner’s information, and look at nearby parcels as well as boundaries. Great for finding offline properties!!!!


Get more information on Storage Authority Franchise at www.storageauthorityfranchise.com/opportunity3 Not only will we provide the tools but help you use them and interpret and use the findings!


Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising. He owns 3 self-storage he designed, built, and manages. He has been helping others in the self-storage industry for over 25 years. He can be reached at marc@StorageAuthority.com or directly at 860-830-6764 to answer your franchising, development, marketing, sales, and operations questions. His best-selling self-storage books are available at Amazon.