Integrated GIS software for computing landscape visibility metrics

Published on Oct 1, 2018in Transactions in Gis
· DOI :10.1111/TGIS.12457
Yohan Sahraoui5
Estimated H-index: 5
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Gilles Vuidel11
Estimated H-index: 11
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
+ 1 AuthorsJean-Christophe Foltête19
Estimated H-index: 19
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
As an important component of the quality of the living environment, landscape is increasingly addressed in terms of its visual dimension. In contrast to the point‐like character of in situ observations and photographic analyses, the modeling of landscape visibility from digital data has the advantage of scanning geographical space in a systematic way. However, the tools currently available for visibility modeling are limited to the mapping of viewsheds. They require complementary operations for a complete landscape assessment, including direct and easy computation of landscape metrics. Furthermore, none of those tools integrates recent technical advances to better characterize the visible landscape by tangential vision (i.e., from ground level as opposed to vision by viewshed from above). Starting from this, PixScape software proposes to integrate a large set of functions for modeling landscape visibility while remaining interfaced with GIS software. This software can be used to perform a complete landscape assessment by computing a wide range of original landscape metrics. It performs tangential analysis in addition to viewshed analysis, which can produce more realistic outcomes. Because landscape visibility analysis over large areas implies significant computation time, the software also integrates a multi‐resolution process intended to speed up calculations while also taking into account the cognitive abilities of human vision.
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