Determining recreational, scenic, and historical-cultural potentials of landscape features along a segment of the ancient Silk Road using factor analyzing

Kurdoglu O., KURDOĞLU B. Ç.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.170, pp.99-116, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 170
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-009-1219-8
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-116


Generally, roads are structures connecting areas of special importance to each other (e.g., from urban areas to villages). In addition to functioning as transportation mediums, roads have aesthetic qualities by means of their recreational, scenic, and cultural functions. One of these unexplored roads, the Trabzon-GumuAYhane old state highway in the Northeast Turkey, the subject of this study, is quite unique for being a part of the historical Silk Road. The aim of the study is to determine the recreational, scenic, and cultural potentials of this road and to identify the landscape qualities based on these potentials. After dividing the road into three sections for comparison purposes, data gathered from basic digital maps obtained from The General Directorate of Rural Services (the governmental agency that is responsible for producing such digital maps) and field trips were entered into maps using geographic information system followed by creating demonstration films using photographs and video camera images of the natural and cultural characteristics of the area. Then, these films were evaluated by an expert team to identify the road's recreational, scenic, and cultural potentials. The results of the evaluation process, the relationships between determined landscape characteristics for each function, and the contribution scores of different functions assigned for the artificial features were statistically analyzed. The analyses showed a very strong relationship between the sections and the contribution scores of the recreation and the scenic functions. The results of these analyses also revealed some landscape characteristics having high contribution values for all the functions. This, in turn, helped in determining a potential of the study area to become a greenway.