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    Author(s): Tim McDonald; Bryce Stokes
    Date: 1998
    Source: Seventh Annual Conference: Computers In Agriculture Proceedings
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (164 KB)

    Description

    A forest landscape visualization system was developed and used in creating realistic images depicting how an area might appear if harvested. The system uses a ray-tracing renderer to draw model trees on a virtual landscape. The system includes components to create landscape surfaces from digital elevation data, populate/cut trees within (polygonal) areas, and convert GIS output data into a form suitable for input to the renderer. The system provides a flexible design tool that, coupled with a GIS, allows a forest engineer to design harvest unit boundaries, set removal intensities, then render an image of the treated area. This provides the engineer with reliable feedback on visual impacts and facilitates an iterative design process to mitigate negative public reaction to harvesting. The system was used to create images of three areas in northern Alabama showing the effects of three different silvicultural treatments on each: no removai, clearcut, and strip clearcut. The images were shown to several groups of students on the Auburn University campus, who were then asked to rate the scenes for scenic beauty. Results indicated a significant difference in scenic beauty between the simulated images, indicating the potential of the system for assessing public reaction to design alternatives.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    McDonald, Tim; Stokes, Bryce. 1998. A Forest Landscape Visualization System. Seventh Annual Conference: Computers In Agriculture Proceedings

    Keywords

    simulation, visualization, forestry, aesthetics, forest harvest

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