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Exploring visual landscapes – Introduction

Steffen Nijhuis, Ron van Lammeren, Marc Antrop


Visual landscape research is an interdisciplinary approach important for landscape and urban planning. This field of research integrates: (1) landscape planning, design and management concepts, (2) landscape perception approaches, and (3) GISc-based methods and techniques in order to map the visual landscape. It offers possible ways of getting a grip on themes like: landscape openness, cluttering of the rural landscape, high-rise buildings in relation to cityscape, historic landscapes and motorway panoramas. This article is an introduction to the field of visual landscape research and provides an overview of the different perspectives on the subject. It provides, from a specific Dutch academic context, important clues for theory, methodology and application in research and development of landscapes all over the world. It offers clues for visual landscape assessment of spaces in cities, parks and rural areas. This article provides a wide range of insights into the psychological background of landscape perception, the technical considerations of geomatics and methodology in landscape architecture, urban planning and design.


visual landscape research; GIS; landscape planning; landscape physiognomy; landscape perception; urban planning; urban design; landscape architecture; research methodology; geomatics; environmental psychology; humanistic geography; mapping

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