Greenway Trail Viewshed Characteristics: Planning Applications Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Authors: Aric Beehler*, Missouri State University
Topics: Planning Geography, Transportation Geography, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Greenways, Remote Sensing, GIS,
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study applies theoretical findings relating greenway trail viewshed characteristics to trail use to a future greenway trail development. Utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques, this study compares the viewshed characteristics of two proposed routes for a new development to connect the local greenway trail system to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Greene County, MO. The study uses GIS techniques along with expert knowledge to map two proposed routes for the trail. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data is then used to delineate the viewshed surrounding each route and calculate the openness and interconnectedness of each viewshed. High-resolution multispectral imagery is used to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measuring the “greenness” within each viewshed. Finally, parcel-level land use data is used to calculate the diversity of land use within each viewshed. The values from these measures is then compared between the two routes to determine their potential for promoting increased trail use. The study finds several uncertainties and limitations when applying these techniques to not-yet-existent trails. Although further research is needed, this study serves as guide for applying objective viewshed criteria to new greenway trail development. This research aids planners by demonstrating methods for evaluating potential greenway trail construction sites remotely. This research also provides researchers with an applied case study adding to the existing body of literature.

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