• Viewshed Comparisons
  • Visibile Areas in Study Area (Kennedy Lake)
  • Visual Magnitude Calculation

Human-Centered Viewshed for Landscape Management

This research required combining geospatial science, geovisualization and an human-environmental interactions to establish metrics representing aesthetic quality in natural environments. The outcome is a new viewshed method that is currently being used in real-world case studies of forest operations planning. The goal of this work is to continue developing the methods, and make them available for use in GIS software (including ArcGIS) for commercial and research purposes. There are numerous applications of the Viewshed which span beyond forestry, including urban design, wind turbine visual impact assessment, and defence (troop movement); for now the focus is primarily on human-environment interactions.


Chamberlain, B. (2015) Computational Models for the Management of Landscape Character. Invited presentation at Argonne National Laboratory, Downers Grove, IL.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M. Landscape Planning and the Human Perspective: A visual quality analysis method. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2015. Manhattan, KS, March 2015.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M. A New Visibility Analysis Toolset. ESRI International User’s Conference. San Diego, CA, July 2014.

Chamberlain, B. and Meitner, M. (2013) A route-based visibility analysis for landscape management. Landscape and Urban Planning, 111, pp 13-24.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M. A Planning Tool for Natural Resource Management in Scenic Landscapes. ESRI International User’s Conference. San Diego, CA, July 2013.

Chamberlain, B. and Meitner, M. (2012). New Geographical Information Systems tools for Scenery Management. In Proceedings of National Association of Environmental Professionals, Visual Resource Track. Portland, OR., May.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M., Lambke, K. A GIS Tool for Managing Visual Quality in British Columbia. ESRI International User’s Conference. San Diego, CA, July 2012.

Meitner, M. & Chamberlain, B., (2012) Visual Magnitude: A New Tool for Visual Landscape Management and Planning. IUFRO Forest for People Conference. Alpbach, Austria, May.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M. (2011). Improving the Viewshed Analysis: the human-centric alternative. ESRI International User’s Conference. San Diego, CA, July.

Chamberlain, B. and Meitner, M. (2011). The Landscape Through Time: a design approach for GIS-based evaluation criteria. 48th International Federation of Landscape Architects World Congress. Zurich, Switzerland, June.

Chamberlain, B., Meitner, M. Forestry in Visually Sensitive Areas: a new tool for better design. Forestry Research Evening, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, March 2011. [poster]


Dr. Mike Meitner


Kansas State University
West Fraser Timber Mills