The planning of new facilities in a forested environment and determination of their visual impact on people in existing houses and other structures can be assisted through the use of the concept of a visual buffer strip or zone. This is a defined region surrounding a new facility outside of which visibility of the facility is equal to or less than a specified value. The buffer strips can either be determined from statistics of the forest vegetation or developed for actual vegetation surrounding a specific site. Comparisons are made between the two approaches for various shapes of new facilities. Descriptions of visual buffer strip computations using point, arc or cellular geographic information system databases are also presented. © 1992 Academic Press Limited.
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