Quantifying the visual-sensory landscape qualities that contribute to cultural ecosystem services using social media and LiDAR

Ecosystem Services
By: , and 

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Abstract

Landscapes are increasingly recognized for providing valuable cultural ecosystem services with numer- ous non-material benefits by serving as places of rest, relaxation, and inspiration that ultimately improve overall mental health and physical well-being. Maintaining and enhancing these valuable benefits through targeted management and conservation measures requires understanding the spatial and tem- poral determinants of perceived landscape values. Content contributed through mobile technologies and the web are emerging globally, providing a promising data source for localizing and assessing these land- scape benefits. These georeferenced data offer rich in situ qualitative information through photos and comments that capture valued and special locations across large geographic areas. We present a novel method for mapping and modeling landscape values and perceptions that leverages viewshed analysis of georeferenced social media data. Using a high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) derived digital surface model, we are able to evaluate landscape characteristics associated with the visual- sensory qualities of outdoor recreationalists. Our results show the importance of historical monuments and attractions in addition to specific environmental features which are appreciated by the public. Evaluation of photo-image content highlights the opportunity of including temporally and spatially vari- able visual-sensory qualities in cultural ecosystem services (CES) evaluation like the sights, sounds and smells of wildlife and weather phenomena.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying the visual-sensory landscape qualities that contribute to cultural ecosystem services using social media and LiDAR
Series title Ecosystem Services
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.03.022
Volume 31
Issue Part C
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 326
Last page 335
Country United States
State North Carolina