Assessing & modeling of landscape scenic values using the method of weighted linear combination (Case study: Walking tracks of Ziarat watershed, Golestan Province)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate, Environmental Assessment, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, I.R. Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, I.R. Iran

3 Associate Professor, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, I.R. Iran


Recent literature attaches high importance to scenic evaluation of natural landscapes. Scenic beauty evaluation techniques often use parameters derived from photographs or collected in situ data via field assessment and questionnaires. Such techniques are relatively costly and time consuming. Park managers and recreational planners require spatial tools and techniques that are fast, flexible and repeatable in order to extract predictable spatial data from scenic resources. As it is impossible or very hard to measure all essential parameters directly, the use of spatial data and Geographic Information System for the assessment and modeling of visual quality of landscapes has become inevitable. This paper develops a spatial method for evaluation of scenic attractiveness of landscapes using geographic information systems (GIS). At first the effective criteria were chosen according to characteristics of study area then these criteria were weighted using AHP. In the next step criteria were combined using Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) method to reveal the suitability of scenic beauty. Eventually, for land zoning according to scenic value, the module of Zonal Land Suitability (ZLS) was applied and the walking tracks of Talambar, Chomazchal, Zeble, Mazookesh, The first waterfall of Ziarat and Sardansar were being suggested as more beautiful walking tracks.


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