Understanding a system is non-linear process i.e. we have derive a lot of questions that are interconnected and then seek answers individually and then connect the various answers.
Landscaping is a core concept in STEM (STAG Test Engineering Method) that powers HBT (Hypothesis based testing) that lists the various aspects related to the system, customer, marketplace, technology and forces one to connect these concepts. What emanates is like an interesting web of information (aka Mindmap) that enables you to come up with intelligent questions and there enable rapid understanding.
For example, connecting marketplace, with requirements and end-users, one can arrive at the question: “What are the various markets that we are planning to deploy our system and in these markets, who are the various kinds of end user types and what does each one from the system?
To quote a specific instance, a two-liner requirement spawned 40+ questions rapidly, that when clarified allowed us to understand the requirement in about an hour. In fact, this uncovered issues in the product being built, as certain aspects of the requirements were completely missed by the developers in their implementation. It is to be noted that our ability to identify questions and therefore understand were not due our domain skills, it was purely due to the application of HBT methodology powered by the defect detection technology(STEM) to the problem at hand.
You can also check out a presentation and an article on Landscaping here.