User' s Guide

June 30, 2020 JAXA/EORC

1. 1. Introduction

The AMSR Earth Environment Viewer (AMSR Viewer) is a system for displaying global earth observation data obtained from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) series, which consists of the GCOM-W/AMSR2 and the Aqua/AMSR-E. The AMSR Viewer has provided daily images of observed brightness temperature and estimated geophysical data since June 2002.

The AMSR is a satellite sensor that responds to microwave signals naturally emitted from various materials on the earth. These signals enable us to estimate various geophysical quantities related to the water cycle based on the characteristics of microwaves . The AMSR can cover more than 99% of the earth's surface in just two days. Utilizing its wide area and high frequency observation, it is used in diverse fields, such as weather forecasting, surveying fishing grounds, climate change, and water cycle research.

AMSR Viewer can display images of observation data and water-related geophysical quantities in up to three layers. It can also save a displayed image and to display and save the time-series graph. As we continue to make improvements, please send any comments or requests to the JAXA/EORC AMSR office .

If you would like to know more about AMSR2 and AMSR-E, you can find the related information here.

2. Specification of displayed image.

Map image Images of observation data (brightness temperature) and geophysical data related to water cycle such as precipitation, sea surface temperature and soil moisture.
Display range Global
Temporal resolution Daily (start time of the day = 00:00 UTC)
Data source Gridded data product of GCOM-W/AMSR2 and AQUA/AMSR-E (JAXA Product Level-3)
Data period AMSR2: July 3, 2012 - Present
AMSR-E: June 1, 2002 - October 4, 2011
Grid size Latitude/Longitude 0.1 x 0.1 degree grid (approx. 11km at the equator)
Frequency of update Updated as soon as the latest AMSR2 grid data is created.
(The early version is created within 3 hours after observation and will be overwritten after the official version is created)

3. Main features

Image layer Multiple images can be superposed on map (Max. 3 layers).
Color scale Maximum and minimum values can be customized.
Map image A displayed map image can be saved as PNG file.
Time-series graph A time-series graph at any point on map can be created and be saved as image file
Graph data is available for registered users.
Slide show Consecutive frame images for 14 days can be automatically replayed.
Auxiliary information
Satellite image or maps can be displayed as background.
Cloud image
Cloud image (hourly) can be superposed.
Geographical information
Coastlines, rivers channels, and grid lines (0.5dgree)

4. Operation

4.1. Map navigation

Zoom in and zoom out
The map can be enlarged or reduced using the zoom-in button, zoom-out button, and zoom slider in the upper left. You can also use the scroll buttons on your mouse. At any place, scroll the mouse when the cursor is "".
Moving map range with mouse
To move the displayed map range, click the right mouse button at any point on the map and drag it to where you want it.
Specifying the map center point and zoom level
You can jump to any point on the map with a specified zoom level. Enter the latitude, longitude, and zoom level at the "Map center & Zoom level" menu on the control panel and then press the [Show Image] button.
Saving map display settings
Click the [Save Location] button to save the map display settings. The next time you browse, AMSR Viewer will automatically restart with the saved map settings.
Browser cookies are used to save the map display settings. Please note that if you delete the cookies, the AMSR Viewer will not be displayed again automatically. To delete the map display settings saved in the cookies, click the [Clear location] button.

4.2. Display date and slide show

Specifying display date
The date of the image displayed on map can be changed at the "Display Date / Slideshow" menu at the top of the page. Enter a date and click the [Show image] button. If you press [-7 days] [-1 day] [+1 day] [+7 days] buttons the date of displayed image will be changed to 7 days ago, 1 day ago, 1 day later, and 7 days later, respectively. If you want to go back to the latest image, press the [Latest] button.
By pressing the [Slideshow] button, you can play back images from 14 days before the specified date continuously.
Since the slide show system loads all the images for 14 days at the beginning, it may take some time after the button is pressed until playback starts.

4.3. Specifying image layer

With the AMSR Viewer, the images observed on the same day can be overlaid up to 3 layers. The images displayed on the map are listed in the image layer panel in the upper left on the map.

The image label in the panel is the name of the data displayed on the map. The symbols (A) and (D) indicate the direction of the satellite orbit. (A) is the ascending orbit when the satellite is going from south to north, and (D) is the descending orbit when the satellite is going from north to south. For the AMSR2 and AMSR-E, (A) is daytime observation (local sun time 1:30pm +/-15minutes at the equator), and (D) is nighttime observation (local sun time 1:30am +/-15minutes at the equator). Even with the same data, there are two types of images - (A) and (D) - and it is also possible to display them in an overlapping manner at the same time.

To change the map image for each layer, press the product select button next to the right of the image label. This opens the product list menu. First, select the satellite orbit direction and then select the product to display on the map.

Product List

4.4. Custom map display setting

You can customize the AMSR Viewer using the "Display Settings" menu on the control panel.

Overlayer opacity
You can change the opacity of image layers by the slider. As you move the slider to the left, the image layers become transparent and the basemap becomes visible.
Three types of basemap are available for the background image:
  • Blank map (only coastal line)
  • Blue-Marble (NASA)
  • GSI Map (GSI)
Selecting the "GSI Map (GSI)" disables the [Download (PNG Image)] button for saving a map image. To activate the button again, refresh the map by pressing the reload button on your browser.
Overlay cloud image
A cloud image can be overlaid on the map by setting the [On/Off] button on the control panel to [On]. Select the time you want to display from the "Cloud Image" menu on the control panel. Cloud images are every hour. The cloud image of the date specified in the map is displayed.
Geographic layers
There are four geographic layers available;
  • Costline 1:50m
  • Costline 1:10m
  • Grid (Lat/Long 5deg)
  • River
Normally, "Coastline 1:50m" is used. Since the data size of "Coastline 1:10m" and "River" is large, it takes some time to display.
Color scale
The color scale of each layer is located at the lower left of the map. The maximum and minimum values of the color scale can be changed freely. To restore the maximum and minimum values, press the [Reset] button.
The minimum and maximum of the precipitation color scale cannot be changed.

4.5. Save map image

The image displayed on the AMSR Viewer can be downloaded in PNG format. Click the [Map Image] button in the "Create/Save" menu on the control panel. Please read the terms of use carefully before using saved images.

Selecting the "GSI Map (GSI)" disables the [Download (PNG Image)] button for saving a map image. To activate the button again, refresh the map by pressing the reload button on your browser.
The layout of saved images may be broken in Firefox and Chrome. If it is broken, please use IE or Edge.

4.6. Create/Save time-series graph

You can create a time-series graph at any point on the map. The graph can be saved as an image file in PNG, JPEG, PDF, or SVG format. The displayable graph period is about one year before the specified date (exactly 367 days, including the specified date). In addition, registered users can download the data used in the time-series graph.

Please read the terms of use carefully before using saved images and data.

Create time-series graph
Follow the steps below to create the time-series graph;
  1. Press the [Time-series graph & data] button in the "Create/Save" menu on the control panel
  2. Select the point on the map where you want to create the graph with the mouse.
  3. Confirm that the latitude and longitude are indicated in the sub menu and click the [Create Time-series Graph] button. You can also enter the latitude and longitude directly in the sub menu.
Time-series graph window
When multiple layers are selected in the "Image Layer" panel, a graph as shown below is created for each layer. Please use the scroll function of your browser.
Graph display time range
Move the slider below the graph to change the graph display period.
Print time-series graph and save image
From the menu on the upper right, you can print the graph and save the graph image.
Save time-series graph data
Click the [Save Graph Data] button below each graph to save the data of the displayed graph period in CSV format. User registration is required to save files in CSV format. Please register here.
User Registration
User registration is required to save graph data in CSV format. Please fill in the required information here press the button below the input form, read the "Terms of Use of Research Data - Space Technology Directorate I", and then check the consent box to enable the [Confirm] button. On the next screen, check the entered information and click the [Send] button. A confirmation email will be sent to the registered email address. Please access the URL in the text and press the [Confirm] button. Registration is complete.

5. Displayed images and their data sources

  • The map image of basemap uses GSI-map by Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.
  • The satellite image of basemap uses NASA Blue Marble.
  • Cloud images use Globally-merged, full-resolution (~4km) IR Data, produced by NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC). Data use infrared (IR) information observed by geostationary satellites, including the Himawari satellite by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the GOES satellites by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Meteosat satellites by the European Meteorological Satellites Organization (EUMETSAT). Those data are provided through the NASA/GSFC Precipitation Processing System (PPS)
  • Some cloud images may be lost due to delays in the delivery of cloud data from geostationary satellites and the operational status of the satellites.
  • Coastline, lat/long grid line, and river channel are provided by Natural Earth.
  • The country search uses GADM data.

6. Special notes

  • Please confirm the terms of use before using this site.
  • Although JAXA/EORC has taken every care to manage the current site, JAXA assumes no responsibility for the safety of the contents of the Site or the reliability of information provided on the Site. JAXA is not responsible for any damage that may be caused by the use of the Site or the information on the Site.
  • Anyone wishing to publish results using data from the AMSR Viewer should clearly acknowledge the ownership of the data in the publication (for example, 'AMSR Viewer by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency').
  • Please contact the JAXA/EORC AMSR Office in advance if you want to distribute images or data from this site to many people, such as in a pamphlet or internet. Also, please check the terms of use for details from here.
  • We would appreciate receiving a preprint and/or reprint of publications in which you utilize our data. Relevant publications should be sent to

7. Contact information

Please contact us at the JAXA/EORC AMSR Office if you have any questions or comments.

Earth Observation Research Center (EORC)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8505, JAPAN