This study examines the validity of using computer-generated graphic images of forest landscapes as decision-making aids for visual quality management. Photographs have been found to be acceptable surrogates for actual landscapes for judging visual quality. A public preference survey was conductd to compare photographs of forest landscapes with computer images created with the Vantage Point landscape visualization tool. Moderate to high correlation was found between mean visual quality ratings of photographs and corresponding Vantage Point images. Correlation levels between all ratings for individual photograph/image pairs, however, are low. Individual observers, on average, show low levels of correlation between their ratings, although some observers have significant correlation. Observer feedback indicates that the lack of correlation is due to the omission of important landscape elements in the Vantage Point images. Omissions were the result of limitations in the prototype version of Vantage Point. © 1995.
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