News:  Version 1.2 (2016/04): use system pdf-reader, updated email-contacts, and optional standalone installation (MS-Windows).

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)
    Please first uninstall any previous version! Then 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: AnisView1.2_mac.dmg
    Please first uninstall any previous version! Then double-click the installer (AnisView1.2_mac.dmg) and follow the instructions (you may need to right-click on the installer and in the new pop-up window select: Open with -> DiskImageMounter/Installer), then drag/drop AnisView to the folder Applications).

    For the initial start navigate to /Applications/AnisView, then right-click on and select: Open
    running AnisView on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and later requires installing the latest version of XQuartz
  • MS-Windows: AnisView1.2_windows.exe
    Please first uninstall any previous version! Then double-click the installer (AnisView1.2_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 launcher to start AnisView from its new location.



Vogt P.; Verstraete, M.M.; 2016. 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 



As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.