Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (164 KB bytes)

Title: A Forest Landscape Visualization System

Author: McDonald, Tim; Stokes, Bryce;

Date: 1998

Source: Seventh Annual Conference: Computers In Agriculture Proceedings

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

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.

Keywords: simulation, visualization, forestry, aesthetics, forest harvest

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



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


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.