Integrating Geographic Information into Scenic Assessments of Middle Landscapes

  • Sampei Yamashita
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Suburban areas, or middle landscapes, can serve as ideal human habitat, and demonstrate how human–environmental synergy can be sustained. However, without extensive evaluation and management, the development of the middle landscape may be haphazard and can lead to awkward assimilation into the city. This study assessed the physical and aesthetic attributes of the catchment basin of a Japanese river and the value of the middle landscape within it. A digital surface model of the catchment area was created using aerial photographs, which were classified according to land use. Panoramic video images were taken both upstream and downstream from all the bridges along the main stretch of the river. View-shed areas within the frame of each of the panorama images were generated for 3-D individual land-use areas. Forty-one college students evaluated and rated the images using the scenic beauty estimation procedure to standardize the perceptual assessment data thus obtained. Three types of middle landscape were identified by factor analysis and cluster analysis: (1) a perspective of distant mountains and forests with anthropogenic structures in the foreground (mountain/forest type); (2) a view consisting of rice paddy fields, farmland, natural areas and/or vacant land (country/nature type); (3) a view of a water surface with commercial facilities (developed waterfront type). The findings indicated that the visibility of middle landscapes, and particularly the perspective of distant mountains and forests, has a positive impact on the view from the river, even if it has conspicuous anthropogenic structures in the foreground. Conversely, the combination of commercial facilities with water tends to be rated relatively low.


Catchment Basin Digital Surface Model Rice Paddy Field Vacant Land Upstream Catchment 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyushu Sangyo UniversityFukuokaJapan

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