Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services is increasingly employed to guide policies in their search for environmental sustainability. In this study, we present a method for mapping aesthetic values as an ecosystem service, combining insights from landscape research and ecosystem service mapping practices. We review or method through a comparison to existing aesthetic value mapping approaches and verify the results through a comparison to a revealed landscape preferences indicator. Disagreement between the methods arises from many factors, including the type of ecological/landscape features that are assumed to contribute to the provision of aesthetic values, the use of context-specific or generic aesthetic value estimates, the scale of landscape evaluation and the level of integration of the landscape preference analysis. We argue that the approach presented here is a suitable generically applicable methodology for context-sensitive mapping of aesthetic landscape values for a number of reasons: (i) a careful and transparent selection process of landscape attributes, (ii) the use of primary preference data, (iii) an integrated evaluation of landscape attributes introducing trade-offs between specific features in the agricultural landscape and (iv) application of visual landscape scale manipulated photographs for the elicitation of preferences as a surrogate for a real landscape experience.
van Zanten, B. T., Verburg, P. H., Scholte, S. S. K., & Tieskens, K. F. (2016). Using choice modeling to map aesthetic values at a landscape scale: Lessons from a Dutch case study. Ecological Economics, 221-231. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.07.008