Visibility and perception analysis of city monuments: The case of Bratislava city centre (Slovakia)

Open access


City monuments attract tourists, especially at places with efficient viewpoints. The conditions of visibility of eight historical monuments in the city of Bratislava were evaluated using GIS on a 3D landscape, employing the criteria of distance, impressiveness, size and the number of visible monuments. The visual quality of 15 selected viewpoints was verified by surveying more than 300 respondents about their views of the monuments from similar locations. These approaches allow us to assess the conformity of visual quality analysis conducted in objective and subjective ways. The most attractive viewpoints ranked by observers were remote from the historic town and provided views of several monuments, as well as a comprehensive panoramic view of the centre of Bratislava. The approaches to assessing visual quality analysis presented in this study represent a comprehensive way of defining and verifying which places are the best for effective sightseeing of a city’s monuments.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • AMEDEO D. GOLLEDGE R. STIMSON R. (2009): Person environment behaviour research: Investigating activities and experiences in spaces and environments. New York London Guilford Press.

  • APPLETON J. (1975): The experience of landscape. Chichester John Wiley and Sons.

  • ASHWORTH G. PAGE S. J. (2011): Urban tourism research: Recent progress and current paradoxes. Tourism Management 32(1): 1–15.

  • BATTY M. (2001): Exploring isovist fields: space and shape in architectural and urban morphology. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 28(1): 123–150.

  • BAUDER M. FREYTAG T. (2015): Visitor mobility in the city and the effects of travel preparation. Tourism Geographies 17(5): 682–700.

  • BELL S. (1999): Landscape: pattern perception and process. London E&FN Spon.

  • BENEDIKT M. L. (1979): To take hold of space: isovists and isovist fields. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 6(1): 47–65.

  • BERTAMINI M. YANG T. L. PROFFITT D. R. (1998): Relative size perception at a distance is best at eye level. Perception & Psychophysics 60(4): 673–682.

  • BISHOP I. D. (2003): Assessment of visual qualities impacts and behaviours in the landscape by using measures of visibility. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 30(5): 677–688.

  • CAÑAS I. AYUGA E. AYUGA F. (2009): A contribution to the assessment of scenic quality of landscapes based on preferences expressed by the public. Land Use Policy 26(4): 1173–1181.

  • CHURCH A. COLES T. (2007): Tourism and many faces of power. In: Church A. Coles Z. [eds.]: Tourism space and power (pp. 269–283). London New York Routledge.

  • DANIEL T. C. (2001): Whither scenic beauty? Visual landscape quality assessment in the 21st century. Landscape and Urban Planning 54(4): 267–281.

  • DALTON R. C. BAFNA S. (2003): The syntactical image of the city: a reciprocal definition of spatial syntaxes. In International Space Syntax Symposium. London. Available at: http://www.spacesyntax/symposia/SSS4/fullpapers/59DaltonBafnapapers.pdf

  • DE FLORIANI L. MARZANO P. PUPPO E. (1994): Line-of-sight communication on terrain models. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 8(4): 329–342.

  • DI LORENZO G. READES J. CALABRESE F. RATTI C. (2012): Predicting personal mobility with individual and group travel histories. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 39(5): 838–857.

  • EDWARDS D. GRIFFIN T. HAYLLAR B. (2008): Urban tourism research: developing an agenda. Annals of Tourism Research 35(4): 1032–1052.

  • FISHER P. F. (1995): An exploration of probable viewsheds in landscape planning. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 22(5): 527–546.

  • FISHER-GEWIRTZMAN D. (2016): Integrated ‘weighted views’ to quantitative 3D visibility analysis as a predictive tool for perception of space. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science

  • FYHRI A. JACOBSEN J. K. S. TØMMERVIK H. (2009): Tourists’ landscape perceptions and preferences in a Scandinavian coastal region. Landscape and Urban Planning 91(4): 202–211.

  • GARNERO G. FABRIZIO E. (2015): Visibility analysis in urban spaces: a raster-based approach and case studies. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 42(4): 688–707.

  • GRANÖ J. G. (1929): Reine Geographie: eine methodologische Studie beleuchtet mit Beispielen aus Finnland und Estland. Helsinki Helsingfors.

  • GRASS DEVELOPMENT TEAM (2010): Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) Software Version 6.4.0 Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Available at:

  • HLAVATÁ Z. OŤAHEĽ J. (2010): Visual analysis of selected historical dominants in Bratislava. Geografický časopis 62(3): 239–311.

  • IRA V. (2003): The changing intra-urban structure of the Bratislava city and its perception. Geografický časopis 55(2): 91–107.

  • JACOBS M. (2011): Psychology of the visual landscape. In: Nijhuis S. et al. [eds.]: Exploring the visual landscape. (pp. 41–54). Delft University of Technology.

  • JANEČKOVÁ MOLNÁROVÁ K. SKŘIVANOVÁ Z. KALIVODA O. SKLENIČKA P. (2017): Rural identity and landscape aesthetics in exurbia: Some issues to resolve from a Central Europe perspective. Moravian Geographical Reports 28(1): 2–12.

  • KIDNER D. B. RALLINGS P. J. WARE A. J. (1997): Parallel processing for terrain analysis in GIS: visibility as a case study. GeoInformatica 1(2): 183–207.

  • LIN T. LIN H. HU M. (2017): Three-dimensional visibility analysis and visual quality computation for urban open spaces aided by Google SketchUp and WebGIS. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science 44(4): 618–646.

  • LLOBERA M. (2003): Extending GIS-based visual analysis: the concept of visualscapes. International Journal of Geographic Information Science 17(1): 25–48.

  • LOTHIAN A. (1999): Landscape and the philosophy of aesthetics: is landscape quality inherent in the landscape or in the eye of the beholder? Landscape and Urban Planning 44(4): 177–198.

  • LYNCH K. (1960): The Image of the City. Cambridge MA MIT Press.

  • MEILINGER T. FRANZ G. BÜLTHOFF H. H. (2012): From isovists via mental representations to behaviour: first steps toward closing the causal chain. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 37(1): 48–62.

  • MORELLO E. RATI C. (2009): A digital image of the city: 3D isovists in Lynch's urban analysis. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 36(5): 837–853.

  • NIJHUIS S. VAN LAMMEREN R. VAN DER HOEVEN F. [eds.] (2011): Exploring the visual landscape. Delft University of Technology.

  • NIJHUIS S. (2011): Visual research in landscape architecture. In: Nijhuis S. Van Lammeren R. Van der Hoeven F. [eds.]: Exploring the visual landscape (pp. 103–146). Delft University of Technology.

  • NIJHUIS S. VAN LAMMEREN R. ANTROP M. (2011): Exploring the visual landscape – Introduction. In: Nijhuis S. Van Lammeren R. Van der Hoeven F. [eds.]: Exploring the visual landscape (pp. 15–39). Delft University of Technology.

  • ODE Ĺ. TVEIT M. S. FRY G. (2008): Capturing landscape visual character using indicators: touching base with aesthetic theory. Landscape Research 33(1): 89–117.

  • OŤAHEĽ J. (1999): Visual landscape perception. Landscape pattern and aesthetic assessment. Ekologia (Bratislava) 18(1): 63–74.

  • OŤAHEĽ J. (2003): Visual quality of the landscape: approaches to analysis. Ekologia (Bratislava) 22(Suppl. 2): 150–160.

  • ROOS-KLEIN LANKHORST J DE VRIES S. BUIS A. (2011): Mapping landscape attractiveness – A GIS-based landscape appreciation model for the Dutch countryside. In: Nijhuis S. Van Lammer R. Van der Hoeven F. [eds.]: Exploring the visual landscape (pp. 147–161). Delft University of Technology.

  • RØD J. K. VAN DER MEER D. (2009): Visibility and dominance analysis: assessing a high-rise building project in Trondheim. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 36(4): 698–710.

  • SAARINEN T. F. (1976): Environmental planning – perception and behaviour. Boston Houghton Mifflin.

  • SEVENANT M. ANTROP M. (2007): Settlement models land use and visibility in rural landscapes: two case studies in Greece. Landscape and Urban Planning 80(4): 362–374.

  • SPECTOR R. H. (1990): Visual Fields. In: Walker H. K. Hall W. D. Hurst J. W. [eds.]: Clinical Methods 3rd edition. The history Physical and Laboratory examination (pp. 565–572). Atlanta Georgia Boston Butterwortth Publishers Emory University School of Medicine.

  • VAN LAMMEREN R. (2011): Geomatics in physiognimc landscape research – A Dutch view. In: Nijhuis S. Van Lammer R. Van der Hoeven F. [eds.]: Exploring the visual landscape (pp. 73–97). Delft University of Technology.

  • ŻEMŁA M. (2016): Tourism destination: The networking approach. Moravian Geographical Reports 24(4): 2–14.

  • ZUBE E. H. SELL G. L. TAYLOR J. G. (1982): Landscape perception: research application and theory. Landscape Planning 9: 1–33.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.870
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.858

CiteScore 2018: 2.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.445
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.877

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 592 278 11
PDF Downloads 310 173 14