Using Computer Graphics for Assessing the Aesthetic Value of Large-scale Rural Landscapes

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The changes in land-use, e.g. afforestation of former agricultural land, or forest management practices, will have an important impact on landscape. Efficient and inexpensive tools are therefore needed in planning for the visualization of future landscape changes. Computer graphics and image-capture techniques can be used to illustrate the present and future states of the sites for the decision-makers. This study examines differences in viewer response to 28 mm panoramic photographs representing 16 rural landscapes and to computer graphic drawings representing the same landscapes. The scenic beauty of the landscapes was assessed first from photographs produced from four original pictures by image-capture technology, with the open agricultural landscape becoming gradually afforested in three stages. The evaluations were then made from computer line graphics illustrations. Scenic beauty was evaluated by using pairwise comparison techniques. The presentation format had little effect on the ratings of the landscapes. The results indicate that the illustration method based on computer line graphics can be recommended for assessing the scenic impact of proposed management actions in distant sceneries.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 1999

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