Affective appraisal of 3D land use visualization

R.J.A. van Lammeren, J.M. Houtkamp, S. Colijn, M. Hilferink, A. Bouwman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we discuss the affective appraisal and affective response of users to three different visualization types: colored raster cells, 2D-icon and 3D-icons. For that we developed a dedicated multi-layered visualization of current and future land use in the Netherlands, that may allow policy-makers to assess and compare land use scenarios. This Google Earth based visualization, abbreviated GESO, facilitates users by means of the three different visualizations of current and future land use. It is often assumed that 3D-visualization improves the cognitive understanding of scenario outcomes. There are many uncertainties, however, about the affective responses to 3D-visualization. A between-subject experiment has been designed to compare viewers’ responses to the three types of visualizations on affective appraisals of the environment. 3D-icon visualization elicited the highest affective appraisals and positively influenced perception of the environmental quality. Moreover, the results demonstrated that 2D-icons and 3D-icons, compared with colored raster cells, did not improve the efficiency or accuracy of the participants in this experiment. The results provide evidence that the visualization type may influence the affective appraisal of the environment represented. The need for further research is discussed, especially regarding the question whether these types of visualizations may influence judgement and decision-making in environmental planning
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-475
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • landscape visualization
  • subjective responses
  • decision-making
  • environments
  • world
  • satisfaction
  • simulations
  • usability
  • ethics
  • tools

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