Mapping landscape spaces: Methods for understanding spatial-visual characteristics in landscape design

Mei Liu*, Steffen Nijhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Mapping landscape spaces by means of manual and modern technology enables landscape architects to describe, understand, and interpret spatial-visual properties of landscape. This can help to strengthen the body of knowledge of spatial design in landscape architecture through measurement and visualization of common concepts in the field, as well as through the possibility to explore spatial-visual landscape features that was not possible before. Despite the wide ranging possibilities and the methods available for mapping landscape spaces, there is evidence that its potential is often still underutilized mainly due to a lack of awareness. This paper aims to contribute to the increase of awareness by providing an overview of mapping methods and tools that can be used to study spatial-visual characteristics in the field of landscape architecture, and show the potentialities of its application by brief examples. This paper introduces six categories of mapping methods: compartment analysis, 3D landscapes, grid cell analysis, visibility analysis, landscape metrics, and eye-tracking analysis. These methods are used to explore, for spatial design in landscape architecture, crucial spatial-visual categories sequence, orientation, continuity, and complexity in an analogue and digital way. The Vondelpark, a well-known urban park in the Netherlands, is used to exemplify how the spatial features can be mapped by means of the mapping methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106376
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Intersubjective approaches
  • Landscape space
  • Mapping
  • Multi-dimensions
  • Spatial-visual organization


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping landscape spaces: Methods for understanding spatial-visual characteristics in landscape design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this