GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Visual Resources



Local, state and national parks, historic areas, and cultural areas may be miles from a proposed transmission line, but because they are visible, transmission lines can detract from the aesthetic value of these public lands. Possible solutions for this may include lower heights of towers, building towers that blend in with the surrounding environment or selecting a route where visibility impacts are not a concern.

An example of this is the visual controversy that surrounded the proposed local of an electric substation and transmission line through the Kituwah Valley in western North Carolina. Save Kituwah, a citizen group opposed to the line created the Save Kituwah website and  Preserve Kituwah Valley video. As a result of this protest, in August of 2010, the utility company found two alternative sites for the substation.


In almost every questionnaire completed and every public meeting attended by the affected public, the top two issues of concern are those of location and visibility. More specifically, will the proposed towers and lines be close enough to impact the real estate value of property, and what impact will visibility have on both aesthetic and the property values?