Automating the Visual Resource Management and Harvest Design Process
Landscape and Urban Planning
Increasing pressure to harvest in scenic vistas as a result of increased timber demand has caused significant changes to many natural scenes. Visual resource management aims to reduce the impact of harvests and improve their scenic design while trying to minimize the effect on timber availability. This paper presents a new method for simplifying the inclusion of visual quality concerns in the forest planning process by developing and testing a prototype model that is capable of automatically modifying harvest designs to be more visually sensitive. This was accomplished by combining geographic information systems with a genetic algorithm and was tested across an array of different landscape terrain types, including mountains, hills and valleys, to demonstrate its ability to deal with complex three-dimensional situations. Results suggest a capacity for increased levels of aesthetic design while also increasing timber availability. This decision support tool allows planners to manipulate “what-if” scenarios to ascertain the effects of varying timber extraction levels and visible alteration percentages.
Chamberlain, Brent C. and Meitner, MIchael J., "Automating the Visual Resource Management and Harvest Design Process" (2008). Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Faculty Publications. Paper 160.