Mapping availability of sea view for potential building development areas

  • Hakan Alphan
  • Fizyon Sonmez


Scenic attraction can be regarded as one of the most important factors for recreation- and/or tourism-oriented landscape planning and management processes. Sea view is generally one of the most predominant scenery components of coastal landscapes. Therefore, presence and degree of its availability contribute to scenic attraction of residential development sites. This attribute of the environment can be quantified by GIS-based visibility analyses that rely on multiple viewshed calculations, during which observation and/or target locations are taken as variables. The main aim of this paper is to analyze availability of sea view for currently undeveloped (i.e., non-built-up) areas in an urbanized coast in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Four study sites (sites 1–4) of varying geomorphological and built-up features, located approximately 40 km south of the city of Mersin, were taken into consideration. Multiple viewshed analyses were performed using a high-resolution terrain model and 541, 533, 540, and 532 observation points for the sites, 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Impact of topography and built-up features on sea visibility was discussed in the light of visibility information classified as percentage visibility of the sea surface available from each of the sites.


Landscape visibility Viewshed Visual assessment Land cover Urbanization Development Coastal areas 



This project is supported by Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) and Cukurova University Department of Research Projects with the grant numbers CAYDAG 111Y253 and ZF2013YL05, respectively.


  1. Abromas, J., Kamičaitytė-Virbašienė, J., & Ziemeļniece, A. (2015). Visual impact assessment of wind turbines and their farms on landscape of Kretinga region (Lithuania) and Grobina townscape (Latvia). Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 23(1), 39–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alphan, H., & Derse, M. A. (2013). Change detection in Southern Turkey using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 21(1), 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alphan, H., Yiılmaz, K. T., & Oguz, H. (2014). Monitoring Development in the Coastal Landscape of Erdemli District, Mersin: Current Urbanization Trends and Future Projections. Unpublished Final Report, Turkish Scientific and Technological Council (TUBITAK) Grant Nr: 111Y253, 186pp (In Turkish).Google Scholar
  4. Ceylan, E. C. (2006). The effectiveness of Turkish coastal legislation in ensuring the protection utilization balance. Unpublished MSc. Thesis. Graduate School of Engineering and Sciences of Izmir Institute of Technology. 111 p.Google Scholar
  5. Clay, G. R., & Daniel, T. C. (2000). Scenic landscape assessment: the effects of land management jurisdiction on public perception of scenic beauty. Landscape and Urban Planning, 49(1–2), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Csereklye, E. K. (2010). Monitoring of landscape combinations and concourses in the Hungarian Danube‐bend. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 18(1), 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Montis, A., & Caschili, S. (2012). Nuraghes and landscape planning: coupling viewshed with complex network analysis. Landscape and Urban Planning, 105(3), 315–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fernandez-Jimenez, L. A., Mendoza-Villena, M., Zorzano-Santamaria, P., Garcia-Garrido, E., Lara-Santillan, P., Zorzano-Alba, E., et al. (2015). Site selection for new PV power plants based on their observability. Renewable Energy, 78, 7–15. doi: 10.1016/j.renene.2014.12.063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Germino, M. J., Reiners, W. A., Blasko, B. J., McLeod, D., & Bastian, C. T. (2001). Estimating visual properties of Rocky Mountain landscapes using GIS. Landscape and Urban Planning, 53(1–4), 71–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grassi, S., Friedli, R., Grangier, M., & Raubal, M. (2014). A GIS-based process for calculating visibility impact from buildings during transmission line routing. Connecting a Digital Europe through Location and Place, 383–402. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03611-3_22.
  11. Kadiogullari, A. I. (2013). Assessing implications of land use and land cover changes in forest ecosystems of NE Turkey. Environmental Monitoring Assessment, 185(3), 2095–2106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kadiogullari, A. I., Sayin, M. A., Celik, D. A., Borucu, S., Cil, B., & Bulut, S. (2014). Analysing land cover changes for understanding of forest dynamics using temporal forest management plans. Environmental Monitoring Assessment, 186(4), 2089–2110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kim, Y. H., Rana, S., & Wise, S. (2004). Exploring multiple viewshed analysis using terrain features and optimisation techniques. Computers & Geosciences, 30(9–10), 1019–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. La Rosa, D. (2011). The observed landscape: map of visible landscape values in the province of Enna (Italy). Journal of Maps, 2011, 291–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liu, L., Zhang, L. Q., Ma, J. T., Zhang, L. A., Zhang, X. M., Xiao, Z. Q., & Yang, L. (2010). An improved line-of-sight method for visibility analysis in 3D complex landscapes. Science China Information Sciences, 53(11), 2185–2194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lu, M., Zhang, J. F., Lv, P., & Fan, Z. H. (2008). Least visible path analysis in raster terrain. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 22(6), 645–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maloy, M. A., & Dean, D. J. (2001). An accuracy assessment of various GIS-based viewshed delineation techniques. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 67(11), 1293–1298.Google Scholar
  18. Ogburn, D. E. (2006). Assessing the level of visibility of cultural objects in past landscapes. Journal of Archaeological Science, 33(3), 405–413. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2005.08.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ozdemir, I., Mert, A., & Senturk, O. (2012). Predicting landscape structural metrics using aster satellite data. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 20(2), 168–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ozkan, U. Y. (2014). Assessment of visual landscape quality using IKONOS imagery. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186(7), 4067–4080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Paliou, E., Wheatley, D., & Earl, G. (2011). Three-dimensional visibility analysis of architectural spaces: iconography and visibility of the wall paintings of Xeste 3 (Late Bronze Age Akrotiri). Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(2), 375–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ramachandra, T. V., Bharath, S., & Bharath, A. (2014). Spatio-temporal dynamics along the terrain gradient of diverse landscape. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 22(1), 50–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sakici, C. (2014). The assessment of the relationship between various waterscapes and outdoor activities: Edirne, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186(6), 3725–3741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sevenant, M., & Antrop, M. (2007). Settlement models, land use and visibility in rural landscapes: two case studies in Greece. Landscape and Urban Planning, 80(4), 362–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sullivan, R. G., Kircler, L. B., Lahti, T., Roché, S., Beckman, K., Cantwell, B., & Richmond, P. (2014). Wind Turbine Visibility and Visual Impact Threshold Distances in Western Landscapes. Accessed Sept 2014
  26. Supernant, K. (2014). Intervisibility and ıntravisibility of rock feature sites: a method for testing viewshed within and outside the socio-spatial system of the Lower Fraser River Canyon, British Columbia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 50, 497–511. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.08.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tabik, S., Zapata, E. L., & Romero, L. F. (2013). Simultaneous computation of total viewshed on large high resolution grids. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 27(4), 804–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang, J., Robinson, G. J., & White, K. (1996). A fast solution to local viewshed computation using grid-based digital elevation models. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 62(10), 1157–1164.Google Scholar
  29. Wilson, J., Lindsey, G., & Liu, G. (2008). Viewshed characteristics of urban pedestrian trails, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Journal of Maps, 2008, 108–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yao, Y., Zhu, X., Xu, Y., Yang, H., Wu, X., Li, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2012). Assessing the visual quality of green landscaping in rural residential areas: the case of Changzhou, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184(2), 951–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yasumoto, S., Jones, A. P., Nakaya, T., & Yano, K. (2011). The use of a virtual city model for assessing equity in access to views. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 35(6), 464–473. doi: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2011.07.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhao, J., Luo, P., Wang, R., & Cai, Y. (2013a). Correlations between aesthetic preferences of river and landscape characters. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 21(2), 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhao, Y. L., Padmanabhan, A., & Wang, S. W. (2013b). A parallel computing approach to viewshed analysis of large terrain data using graphics processing units. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 27(2), 363–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Landscape ArchitectureCukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey

Personalised recommendations