ABSTRACT

The development of current spatial analysis methods for exploring the visual structure of space has been determined by the constant interchange of concepts and ideas between studies in the fields of urban and landscape research. Within these works special emphasis is given to the notions of viewshed, isovist, isovist field, and visibility graph (Batty, 2001; Benedikt, 1979; Conolly and Lake, 2006: 225-33; Turner et al., 2001; Wheatley and Gillings, 2002: 201-16). Although these terms are associated with specific types of spatial representation and are used almost exclusively in relation to either built or landscape contexts, they nonetheless operate within a similar conceptual framework. This fact is reflected in their common references to environmental psychology works and concepts, especially Gibson’s optic array-the nested complex of visual angles that have their apex at the eye of the observer and their base at the surfaces of the objects of the environment that surrounds her (Benedikt, 1979: 48; Gibson, 1979: 65-71; Llobera, 2003: 30; Wheatley and Gillings, 2000). Furthermore, conceptual interchange between applications of visual analysis in built and natural environments has been made manifest on numerous occasions; for example, the terms isovist (Benedikt, 1979) and visibility graph (Turner et al., 2001), which are now widely used in architectural and urban analysis, were first proposed by Tandy (1967) and De Floriani

Computational Approaches to Archaeological Spaces by Andrew Bevan and Mark Lake, Eds., 243-264 © 2013 Left Coast Press, Inc. All rights reserved.