PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 975-983.

• Tourism and Leisure Geography •

A review on visual landscape study in foreign countries

QI Tong, WANG Yajuan, WANG Weihua

1. College of Resources, Environment & Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
• Received:2012-11-01 Revised:2013-02-01 Online:2013-06-25 Published:2013-06-25

Abstract: Visual landscape study has a wide application prospect in the construction of scenic spots as well as urban and rural planning and management. Related foreign researches in the last decade were reviewed and divided into three parts in this paper: visual landscape quality assessment, visual impact assessment, and visual landscape preference. The basic implications and theoretical sources were introduced. This paper mainly concerns the topics, methods and techniques of each field. At the same time, advantages, disadvantages as well as relevant significance were analyzed. First, in landscape quality assessment, the research emphasis was the contribution of landscape elements and features to landscape quality. Psychophysical approaches were commonly used in this area, but there was an apparent tendency toward combination of the expert-based approach and the psychophysical approach. Secondly, visual impact caused by urban and rural buildings and renewable-energy facilities received much attention. GIS and 3D visualization techniques enlarged temporal-spatial scales and improved the precision of quality and impact assessment. Thirdly, scholars investigated visual landscape preference from two perspectives: human and landscape which was respectively subjective and objective part of appreciation. Not only human natural and cultural attributes but also landscape features were deeply explored to demonstrate the influence in landscape preference. It was confirmed that landscape preference could promote landscape preservation and rational land use. In conclusion, the progresses of the studies on visual landscape were summarized as follows: visual landscape study was more instructive in landscape planning and construction, because the subjective and objective methods were gradually integrated and the techniques were diversified; study areas were unbalanced and study objects were a little dull, so more relevant researches should be made in the developing countries and scholars should pay much attention to visual impact of a large variety of landscape types; there was a need for comprehensive perspectives as the number of interdisciplinary studies was increasing; the foreign researches had some enlightenment for the domestic ones.