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Extending GIS-based visual analysis: the concept of visualscapes

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A Geographical Information System (GIS) is used to retrieve and explore the spatial properties of the visual structure inherent in space. The first section of the article aims to gather, compare and contrast existing approaches used to study visual space and found in disciplines such as landscape architecture, urbanism, geography and landscape archaeology. The concept of a visualscape is introduced in the following section as a tentative unifying concept to describe all possible ways in which the structure of visual space may be defined, broken down and represented within GIS independently of the context in which it is applied. Previous visibility studies in GIS are reviewed and further explored under this new concept. The last section presents the derivation of new visual parameters and introduces a new data structure (i.e. a vector field) to describe the visual exposure of a terrain.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Archaeology, University College London, Donald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre, Department of Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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