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Abstract or Description

Cape Wind has proposed a wind farm of 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in the center of Nantucket Sound. A prominent concern about the project is the impact the visibility of the turbines will have on the region's tourism industry and property values. It is feared that their presence will diminish the value of the pristine coastline that has attracted vacationers to Cape Cod for generations. In this project, we assess the extent to which Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket will be visually affected by the wind farm. It was completed using a Viewshed Analysis in the GIS program, ArcMap, from the surface, mean, and maximum height of the towers. These Viewsheds were combined to give a comprehensive perspective of which areas are able to see the highest percent of the wind farm. Finally, a weighted land use value was applied to the Viewshed to account for the impact of land use on the ability to see the project. The objective of this analysis is to provide a visual representation of how great an influence the wind farm will in fact have on Cape Cod.

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