Geospatial analysis of lake scenery as an indicator for the environment: The City of Van (Turkey) and its surroundings

ALPHAN H., Aşur F.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY INDICATORS, cilt.9, 2021 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 9
  • Basım Tarihi: 2021
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1016/j.indic.2020.100091


Lake scenery is an important asset to such ground locations, where potential urban/tourism development is a concern. The aim of this paper is to analyse lake scenery using user surveys and a visibility map as a quantified variable. Study area is the city of Van (Eastern Turkey) and the coastal areas in its close vicinity. Visibility map was produced using cumulative viewshed analyses that combine results of a binary (visible/non-visible) function (i.e., intervisibility) applied to observation and target locations. Intervisibilities between a priori determined observation and target locations were calculated and mapped. For this purpose, a total of 7349 target locations were identified on lake surface. Observation locations were described as pixels on a digital surface model (DSM). In addition, qualitative analyses were employed using photographs taken from these 25 points. Visibility maps showed that there are certain patches of undeveloped coastal areas with higher lake visibility value in close vicinity of the city of Van. The important landmarks with high scenery scores were also evaluated. For this purpose, point locations are overlaid onto Lake visibility map. This revealed that 22 out of 25 locations and their neighbouring areas have high level of Lake visibility. Areas with high visibility values were proposed as potential development areas due to their scenic advantages. Computer-aided visualization of landscapes is a promising cost-effective concept for landscape-level environmental planning and management as it helps to conceptualize visual aspects of landscapes. Visibility information has therefore a strong potential to increase the efficiency of urban development plans.