Classifying landscape character
Brabyn, L. (2009). Classifying landscape character. Landscape Research, 34(3), 299-321.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5797
Landscape classification is fundamental to landscape management and research because it provides a frame of reference for communication. This paper describes a method for classifying visual landscape character in New Zealand and builds on a previously developed method using Geographical Information Systems. Theoretical issues associated with classifying landscapes are discussed and incorporated into the method. The main components of the classification are landform, landcover, water, infrastructure, dominant landcover and water view. The resulting classification is hierarchical, with six levels of generalisation. A naturalness score is also built into the classification. Applications of the classification are briefly described. These included query and identification of similar landscapes, description and landscape inventory of regions, identifying rare and unique landscapes, and combining with visibility analysis to describe landscape experience on walking tracks. The New Zealand Landscape Classification is designed to complement other landscape information such as the location of historical, spiritual, cultural, and geological landscape features.