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Preparing 3D Point Clouds as Stimuli for Landscape Preference Studies: Lessons Learned

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Wissen HayekUlrike, SpielhoferReto, Grêt-RegameyAdrienne,
Project ENERGYSCAPE: Landscape strategy for renewable energy systems
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture
Volume (Issue) 4
Page(s) 250 - 257
Title of proceedings Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture
DOI 10.14627/537663027

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Representational parameters of landscape simulations can influence people’s perception and preference judgements. Therefore, it is crucial to test their effects systematically. The goal of this paper is to answer a few key challenges encountered when preparing 3D point cloud stimuli for landscape preference studies in order to make an informed modelling choice. We present lessons learned from preparing 3D visualizations of landscapes with renewable energy systems, which served as stimuli for a laboratory experiment investigating landscape preferences. With a series of four small studies we tested the stimu-li’s suitability for purpose with regard to: (1) The placement of the renewable energy infrastructures on the landscapes and their representation; (2) the effect of seasonal aspects on preferences; (3) the presen-tation media (panoramic projection or head-mounted display); and (4) the display type (animated or static) and presentation form (simultaneous or sequential). The results of the first study show that de-signing landscape scenarios collaboratively with experts is important as they have a critical view on both, the technically realistic visualization of the landscape change and its representation. The 3D point cloud models were an appropriate means for this task. Further, audio-visual simulations presented with head-mounted displays can contribute to a higher level of immersion. The other two studies focusing on the effect of the seasonal aspect as well as the display type and presentation form revealed that the effect of the investigated aspects on stated preferences was not significant in the context of our study. The insights can inform other 3D visualization processes in relation to crucial aspects to be considered when generating stimuli using 3D point clouds.