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News: updated installer for OSX and new 64bit Linux installer are now available.

AnisView is an educational software to visualize the Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) using one of the two radiative transfer models RPV and MRPV.  AnisView has the following features:

Graphic display modes:

  • Geometry: an interactive mode to visualize the user-driven illumination and observation geometry.
  • Single BRF value: BRF as a function of the selected geometry and BRDF model parameters.
  • 2-D plot: a cross-cut or plane along a specified azimuthal direction.
  • 2-D contour plot: circular view of the BRDF field including interactive readout of BRF values.
  • 3-D rectangular/polar plot: 3-D visualization of the BRDF field.

Other features:

  • the BRDF-model settings and the graphic display can be saved in a variety of formats.
  • overlay of observation zenith angles for the sensors ATSR, AVHRR, MODIS, MISR, SPECTRA.
  • isotropic and lambert settings 

AnisView is available for the following operating systems (please use right-click - Save as and download the installer to a local directory):

  • Linux: (64bit)   or (32bit)
    Open a shell in the directory where you saved the installer.  Make the installer executable using the command: chmod u+x
    (on 32bit systems: chmod u+x Then either double-click the installer to get AnisView installed into your HOME-directory, or manually start the installer using: ./ to install AnisView into the current directory.
  • Mac OS-X: AnisView1.1_mac.dmg
    ouble-click the installer (AnisView1.1_mac.dmg) and follow the instructions.
    Note: running AnisView on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and later requires installing the latest version of XQuartz
  • MS-Windows: AnisView1.1_windows.exe
    ouble-click the installer (AnisView1.1_windows.exe) and follow the instructions.

The installation requires no administrator rights. It will extract the entire package, including documenation, manual, disclaimer and the source code, into a single directory.  After the installation, the extracted directory AnisView can be copied/moved to a different location or device, e.g., an external USB-flashdrive.  In this case, please use the included shortcuts to start AnisView from its new location.



Vogt P,; Verstraete, M.M.; 2009. AnisView. Available at the following web site:

AnisView disclaimer

RPV: Rahman, H., B. Pinty, and M. M. Verstraete (1993) 'Coupled surface-atmosphere reflectance (CSAR) model. 2. Semi-empirical surface model usable with NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data', Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 20,791-20,801.

MRPV: Engelsen, O., B. Pinty, M. M. Verstraete, and J. V. Martonchik (1996) Parametric 
Bidirectional Reflectance Factor Models: Evaluation, Improvements and Applications, 
EC Joint Research Centre, Technical Report No. EUR 16426 EN, 114 p.

Contact: Peter Vogt