Drawing as pattern information extraction: Linking geomorphology and art | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2057-0384
  • E-ISSN: 2057-0392


In undergraduate education, drawing landscapes or landforms as part of geomorphological field exercises is rarely performed. Drawing is not, for the most part, explored in scientific disciplines despite its significance in textbooks for illustrating complex, three-dimensional, relationships such as mountain systems. Photographs in themselves are only a partial solution to recording and interpretation. Photography does not provide the ‘active’, meta-cognitive, learning opportunities that drawing does. The article explores the way in which visual feature extraction, for example in pattern matching, plays a role in analysis of an image. Not only is the identified shape or form important in revealing a structure but this may help identify an underlying physico-mathematical relationship such as power laws, complexity and emergence. The basic identification of shapes can be used to link geomorphological information with simple techniques that can be used in training undergraduates and use drawing techniques as a matter of course. The importance of metadata in titles and explanatory information is an important part of image interpretation. Examples are presented to show fieldwork sketching and linking to cognitive processes and suggest that drawing should be a part of undergraduate geomorphological education.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): emergence; geomorphology; landforms; metadata; patterns; visual cognition
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