Visibility Analysis in Coastal Landscapes: A Tool for Decision-Making


12th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment (MEDCOAST), Varna, Bulgaria, 6 - 10 October 2015, pp.155-161 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • City: Varna
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • Page Numbers: pp.155-161


Mediterranean coastal areas have undergone substantial land cover changes due to extensive human interference. Urbanization, agriculture, tourism, industries, and infrastructure development are the principal drivers that cause these changes. Changes in landscape pattern have important implications on functioning of ecological systems that lead to alterations in ecosystem services. Changes in land cover also affect landscape visibility, which is a key feature for coastal land use planning. Sea scenery, for example, is an attraction for residential development on the coast. On the other hand, quarries or built-up patches present in the scenery have negative impact on the attractiveness of potential building development sites. GIS provides tools for assessing visibility. Incorporating visibility information into multi-criteria decision-making creates a strong basis that may enhance site selection for building or infrastructure development (e.g., roads) in coastal areas. This paper deals with extracting visibility information for coastal landscapes using GIS techniques in the case of the eastern Mediterranean Coast of Turkey (i.e., near the city of Mersin). Importance of mapping the visibility was discussed. Opportunities that the visibility information enhances multi-criteria decision-making were highlighted.