This research will investigate the interpretations of landscapes made by people by evaluating their experiences of and responses to different landscapes. Specifically, it will firstly consider how and why individuals place ‘value’ onto locations by utilising theories of ‘landscape aesthetics’ as a way of understanding landscape recognition. Secondly, using innovative applications of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to capture and display such data, the research aims to devise a mixed-methods approach that can map interpretations and responses to particular heritage landscapes; concurrently developing tools and techniques to analyse and enable the visualisation of responses to landscape through forms of digital cartography.
The methodology will be carried out at three research locations within the county of Durham, in order to provide different visual contexts for data representations. The locations are; Durham Castle and Cathedral, both are areas of sensitive conservation and inscribed on the World Heritage list within Durham; Stanhope and the ‘Stanhope Walk’, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provides a rural landscape for evaluation; Esh Winning is a former collier village that provides a rural, ex-industrial context.
This integrative approach will occur at each of the three research locations, to provide comparisons and show differing levels of visual representation through colour and imagery. This research will therefore contribute to the development of visual methodologies and their use as a means of quantitatively representing and communicating qualitative data clearly and efficiently.
Miss Isabel Williams (I.H.Williams1@newcastle.ac.uk)
NEDTC Doctoral Candidate
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
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