Assessment of visual landscape quality using IKONOS imagery

Ozkan U. Y.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, cilt.186, ss.4067-4080, 2014 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 186 Konu: 7
  • Basım Tarihi: 2014
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s10661-014-3681-1
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.4067-4080


The assessment of visual landscape quality is of importance to the management of urban woodlands. Satellite remote sensing may be used for this purpose as a substitute for traditional survey techniques that are both labour-intensive and time-consuming. This study examines the association between the quality of the perceived visual landscape in urban woodlands and texture measures extracted from IKONOS satellite data, which features 4-m spatial resolution and four spectral bands. The study was conducted in the woodlands of Istanbul (the most important element of urban mosaic) lying along both shores of the Bosporus Strait. The visual quality assessment applied in this study is based on the perceptual approach and was performed via a survey of expressed preferences. For this purpose, representative photographs of real scenery were used to elicit observers' preferences. A slide show comprising 33 images was presented to a group of 153 volunteers (all undergraduate students), and they were asked to rate the visual quality of each on a 10-point scale (1 for very low visual quality, 10 for very high). Average visual quality scores were calculated for landscape. Texture measures were acquired using the two methods: pixel-based and object-based. Pixel-based texture measures were extracted from the first principle component (PC1) image. Object-based texture measures were extracted by using the original four bands. The association between image texture measures and perceived visual landscape quality was tested via Pearson's correlation coefficient. The analysis found a strong linear association between image texture measures and visual quality. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between standard deviation of gray levels (SDGL) (one of the pixel-based texture measures) and visual quality (r = 0.82, P < 0.05). The results showed that perceived visual quality of urban woodland landscapes can be estimated by using texture measures extracted from satellite data in combination with appropriate modelling techniques.