Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of Landscape Qualities: Wilderness, Tranquillity and Dark Skies

  • Flurina M. WartmannEmail author
  • William A. Mackaness
  • Nicole Bauer
  • Janine Bolliger
  • Felix Kienast
Part of the Innovations in Landscape Research book series (ILR)


The need to assess landscape qualities has become increasingly important over the past decades, with landscapes being continuously shaped and re-shaped through dynamic natural and anthropogenic processes. It is now widely recognised that landscapes need to be studied both in terms of their physical and ecological elements as well as how people living in or visiting landscapes perceive and interact with them. Different approaches have been developed over time for assessing these variegated aspects of landscape qualities, which range from methods in the natural sciences to the social sciences and humanities. Using the three examples of wilderness, tranquillity and dark skies as landscape qualities, we review existing quantitative and qualitative approaches to illustrate the potential of interdisciplinary landscape research. Furthermore, we highlight the potential of novel methodologies and data sources to study these landscape qualities, including the use of machine learning for automated image recognition, analysis of social media data (tags, location and image content), as well as citizen science approaches.


Landscape qualities Landscape research Landscape perception Wilderness mapping Tranquillity mapping Nightscapes Dark skies Soundscapes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flurina M. Wartmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • William A. Mackaness
    • 2
  • Nicole Bauer
    • 1
  • Janine Bolliger
    • 1
  • Felix Kienast
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of GeosciencesEdinburghUK

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