Comparison of differences in landscape preferences : case of the Cairngorms National Park of Scotland and the Jirisan National Park of Korea
The purpose of the study was to compare visual preferences for natural landscapes between visitors to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland and those to the Jirisan National Park in Korea. Both National Parks were personally visited during summer 2002 and summer 2003, and photographed using a digital camera. For landscape preference survey, the photographs were subsequently used to produce photographic books that were composed of pairs of the Cairngorms and the Jirisan photographs. A Geographic Information System was used to analyse the photographs to produce explanatory variables (e.g. area, perimeter, and colour), as stimuli of preferences. The photograph variables were reduced to orthogonal principal factors. It was found that both the far-related and the near-related factors were the significant distinctive features. Compared with the Jirisan landscape, the Cairngorms landscape was mostly not covered by trees, which led to a less bluish colour of the distant region and a more reddish colour of the near region. Regarding preferences, both groups of visitors tended to choose the Jirisan photographs rather than the Cairngorms photographs. However, it was also found that the Jirisan visitors did not consistently recognise the typicality difference in the Cairngorms landscapes, where the Cairngorms visitors did recognise it in the Jirisan landscapes. Mixed conditional logit models of landscape preference were formulated for both the Cairngorms visitors and Jirisan visitors. While the near-related factor was the most significant one for the Cairngorms visitors to select the preferred landscape, the water-related factor was the most significant one of the Jirisan visitors. It was found that both groups would have preferred their own landscape, if all visual elements were the same. This result explained that people within a certain culture were likely to choose their own landscape form the "heart", although visual elements played a considerable role in determining landscape preferences.