Mount Vernon Potential Development Visibility Calculator

Building upon previous work conducted by Prince George’s County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Chesapeake Conservancy created a LIDAR-based Digital Surface Model, showing elevation including trees and buildings, of Charles and Prince George’s Counties. Using this dataset, we created a viewshed analysis from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate with a 4-foot resolution. This analysis formed the basis for the creation of an interactive web tool which aims to help landowners, developers, conservationists, and historians understand the impact of development across the river from Mount Vernon.

Users can input a proposed building height of their choosing and then draw the footprint of where the building would be constructed or trace the outline of a parcel. The calculator returns a layer depicting where on the plot a structure of that height would be visible and by how much. The analysis also shows which wooded areas are responsible for blocking the view of the proposed building, helping to prioritize certain natural landscapes that help maintain the integrity of the Mount Vernon viewshed.

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