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Visual Impact Studies, Viewshed and Exposure Maps

When you need to produce visual impact study, viewshed maps or submit documentation for an environmental review process, call us for help. Our custom built maps are designed to show the visual exposure area for any given feature or construction project.

Through many years in the wireless industry I had some enlightening experiences while working through zoning approvals for telecommunications tower sites. When I started my mapping service, I noticed that the environmental industry did not have many sources of inexpensive maps that show where the view shed exists from any given point. Wirelessmapping.com can produce Visual Impact Study Maps.

The visual or view shed study maps available here will show a highlighted area on a topographic, street  map, or aerial photography. The color represents areas that can be viewed from a given object (such as a building or tower or wind turbine generator). You can specify the height of the center object as well as the height of the observer. The view area is calculated based on the local topographic terrain data and does allow for visual obstructions such as trees or buildings that might actually obscure the view.


While these visual impact and viewshed maps are useful to the wireless industry to evaluate radio sites, they are also useful to anyone who needs to submit environmental impact data. These could include NEPA / CEPA / MEPA / SEQRA and other state environmental impact requirements. They may also be needed in state historical preservation office (SHPO) applications from time to time. If your zoning ordinance requires you to submit a visual impact study or viewshed map we may be able to help.

Situations that might require a visual impact study could include windmill farms or wind power generator projects, radio and telecommunications towers, forestry clear cut projects, large building construction, power lines, and any other zoning or site review process. The studies are very affordable. This allows the person applying for the zoning approval to provide the information, or citizen groups to produce evidence of areas that could be affected in their quest to make sure citizen concerns are well represented. Demographic information on population and households can be provided for the same affected areas. This could help preserve a viewshed area.

The maps are helpful to tourism and real estate agencies that want to tout locations that have great views. Wouldn't it be nice to show the full vista area on a map to entice a person to visit that spot. Your tourism bureau might like to generate a map of a scenic highway overlook showing the areas visible from a particular location. These are great additions to the normal photographs that are used.

In addition to the maps, 3D renderings can be generated that simulate a very real representation of a particular line of sight view. Fly by animations are also possible. Multiple views can be generated showing the actual terrain viewed over the aerial photography or street maps. This can be helpful during site plan review.

Visual Impact Study and Viewshed Map Examples
Click on thumbnails to see the full size image.

Visual Impact Study or Viewshed Map on Aerial Photography
 Viewshed area overlaid on an aerial photo. image.

Combined Viewsheds overlaid on a Topographic Map
Viewshed area on topographic map, two sites are shown in yellow and magenta colors with the red area showing the overlap from each site.

Visual Impact or Viewshed Study overlaid on a topographic map with range rings
Simple single site viewshed area on topographic map with range rings.

Vantage Point 3D simulation rendering for a line of sight viewshed study
Example of a 3D rendering of a particular view.

Photo Comparing Simulated 3D View of terrain to the actual view
This is an actual photo from the same location.


To order a  visual impact map simply send the geographic coordinates of your location to:

 with the height of the center point and the height of the average observer. We accept payment through PayPal or with purchase orders from approved companies.