The ability to represent the landscape or townscape that exists and any proposed changes to it is important for the landscape profession. Visual representations or ‘visualisations’ are a good means of doing this but they must fairly represent what people would perceive in the field.

A number of static and dynamic techniques are available, for examples:

  • 2D overlays
  • 2D perspective sketches
  • 2D photomontages – the superimposition of an image onto a photograph, by hand or using a computer
  • 3D physical models – by hand or using a 3D printer
  • 3D computer simulations

Visualisation information guidance

The latest edition of Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment gives some guidance on techniques but it is important to note that this is given in the specific context of landscape and visual impact assessment.

LI Advice Note 1/11 Advice on photography and photomontage and the formal answers to questions also cover visualisation in the context of landscape and visual impact assessment.

Whilst it is important to take a proportionate approach, guidance prepared by SNH relating to the visual representation of wind farms gives further useful insight into visualisation techniques in general, which may be helpful in developing approaches in other situations.

The LI, through LIS, is involved with SNH in research into the use of visualisations by decision-makers and the public and is also working on producing further information, guidance and advice. This includes guidance on a proportionate approach to Visualisation and a roll-forward of Advice Note 1/11.

The LI has two groups working on this area. (Minutes of neither group are published.)

There may be more information in the Technical Resources Section or please email Head of Technical & Professional Services: .