Where is Helvellyn? Fuzziness of multi-scale landscape morphology

TitleWhere is Helvellyn? Fuzziness of multi-scale landscape morphology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsFisher, P, Wood J, Cheng T
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Start Page106-128

The landscape in which people live is made up of many features, which are named and have importance for cultural reasons. Prominent among these are the naming of upland features such as mountains, but mountains are an enigmatic phenomenon which do not bear precise and repeatable definition. They have a vague spatial extent, and recent research has modelled such units as spatial fuzzy sets. We take a specifically multi-resolution approach to the definition of the fuzzy set membership of morphometric classes of landscape. We explore this idea with respect to the identification of culturally recognised landscape features of the English Lake District. Discussion focuses on peaks and passes, and the results show that the landscape elements identified in the analysis correspond to well known landmarks included in a place name database for the area, although many more are found in the analysis than are named in the available database. Further analysis shows that a richer interrogation of the landscape can be achieved with Geographical Information Systems when using this method than using standard approaches.