LANDMAP - the landscape atlas
LANDMAP assesses the diversity of landscapes
within Wales. It identifies and explains their most important
characteristics and qualities - whether they are ordinary, but
locally important landscapes, or nationally recognised spectacular
LANDMAP, the Welsh approach to landscape assessment, will
achieve complete quality assured coverage in 2008. LANDMAP,
introduced in 1997, was revolutionised in 2003 with the
introduction of a benchmark methodology and quality assurance
process to ensure consistency, accuracy and accessibility of
landscape information in Wales. The approach has matured through
the continued input and experience from local authority LANDMAP
Managers, the aspect specialists collecting the information and the
steerage from the Quality Assurance Panel resulting in an
outstanding nationally consistent resource for landscape planning
LANDMAP is a GIS (Geographical Information System) based
landscape resource where landscape characteristics, qualities and
influences on the landscape are recorded and evaluated into a
nationally consistent data set.
Specialists collect LANDMAP Information in a structured and
rigorous way that is defined by five methodological chapters, the
Geological Landscape, Landscape Habitats, Visual & Sensory,
Historic Landscape and Cultural Landscape. These chapters should be
taken as the key landscape guidance for Wales.
It is the use of all five layers of information that promotes
sustainable landscape decision-making as what may be less important
to in one particular layer may be of high importance in another.
Giving all five layers equal consideration ensures no aspect of the
landscape is overlooked.
One of the key defining features in LANDMAPs recent success as
the key landscape resource in Wales is the improved accessibility
to the information. All quality assured LANDMAP Information is now
available from the LANDMAP website, either by viewing the
information in the online GIS or by downloading the information
onto your computer. The online GIS option has enabled practitioners
in landscape work to access the information without having to have
a GIS licence, a considerable benefit both within local authority
departments and private consultancies.