Eliciting and mapping the attributes of landscape perception : an integration of personal construct theory (PCT) with geographic information systems (GIS)
Scotland's tourist industry partly depends upon the quality of the Scottish landscape. However, despite demands for improved management of landscape resources, there is no standard method for the assessing landscape quality. This research takes a user-based approach to this problem and explores the use of Kelly's Personal Construct Theory (PCT) in eliciting underpinning attributes and dimensions of perception in a range of uses and across a range of Scottish landscapes. A novel aspect of the research is that it involves experimentation in mapping the resultant constructs through use of a Geographic Information System (GIS). Sixteen key constructs were gained from one to one. interviews and used in the preliminary mapping experiments. These showed that it was possible to express the constructs spatially. To evaluate between user group/landscape type responses a questionnaire was designed, piloted and applied. A total of 1286 responses were analyzed. Differences were found between landscape type but were stronger between user groups. The research has demonstrated that the application of PCT coupled to GIS is a valuable way of exploring landscape perception/landscape quality and their spatial expression.