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ARM Radar Toolkit Viewer

ARTview is an interactive GUI viewer that is built on top of the Py-ART toolkit. It extends Py-ART by allowing the user to visualize, query, and modify data on the fly within a self-contained environment, accessing individual or entire directories of data files. All file types available in Py-ART can be opened with the ARTview browser.

Interaction with data files is through "Plugins". These include many functions from the Py-ART package which can be selected. In addition, native ARTview plugins are provided to query data and select regions or points visually and more.



ARTview highlights:

Dynamically switch fields (variables) and tilt angles via drop down menu.

Dynamically switch tilt angle via radio button selection.  Also easily change
by using the up/down arrow keys.

Browse a directory using the FileNavigator menu or left/right arrow keys.

View surface-based or (some) airborne radar files.

View (and switch between) PPI, sector or RHI type file scans.

Change display parametets such as scaling, title, units labels, colormap,
and add range rings.

Save output images from a drop-down menu (Or Ctrl+s on linux, Cmd+S on MacOS).

Use Py-ART auxilary file readers by right clicking a file in the FileList.

Display toolbox which allows Zooming/Panning, find point values, select regions.

The default two windows can be configured to share parameters or operate independently.

Run automated correction routines.

Hand-edit data files.

Write your own plugins to use.


Code repository


User Forum




Some minor bugs have been addressed to improve performance of plugins. The menu has undergone a facelift to make it easier to understand the tools in ARTview. More user-friendly interfaces have been deployed to improve the experience.

A number of editing tools have now been linked (from Py-ART) and developed internally. There remains further functionality development, so keep an eye out for new features. It has performed well in internal testing, but if you find bugs in there, we appreciate your help in finding and addressing them.


Paul Hein has put together a brief introduction. Anderson Gama has made a video introduction to ARTview 1.0 as well as video tutorials to ARTview 1.2.


The easiest method for installing ARTview is to use the conda packages from the latest release. To do this you must download and install Anaconda or Miniconda. Then use the following command in a terminal or command prompt to install the latest version of ARTview::

conda install -c conda-forge artview

To update an older version of ARTview to the latest release use::

conda update -c conda-forge ARTview

If you do not wish to use Anaconda or Miniconda as a Python environment or want to use the latest, unreleased version of ARTview see the section below on Installing from source.

Installing from source

Installing ARTview from source is the only way to get the latest updates and enhancements to the software that have not yet made it into a release. The latest source code for ARTview can be obtained from the GitHub repository, Either download and unpack the source code zip file or use git to checkout the repository::

git clone

To install in your home directory, use::

python install --user

To install for all users on Unix/Linux::

python build
sudo python install


Either cd into the installed folder and run:

python ARTview -d /some/directory/you/want/to/point/to

Or it can be run from anywhere with the following:


A specific file can be loaded:

ARTview -F /some/directory/you/want/to/point/to/filename

A specific field (e.g. reflectivity) can be loaded:

ARTview -f 'reflectivity'

Use a different start-up script with -s

ARTview -s radar

There are several predefined scripts that you can use, but you can also write your own.

To see other command line options:

ARTview -h

ARTview should be able to recognize and correctly handle PPI, RHI and airborne files.

The default startup uses radar reflectivity and checks for a few common names. If you find a file with a field that does not load, let us know and we can add it to the list.


Py-ART >= 1.6

matplotlib >= 1.1.0

Basemap >= 0.99

PyQt4 >= 4.6

Make sure that matplotlib is loading PyQt4 as backend, for testing that execute python test/

It is recommended to keep your Py-ART package updated, as new features may rely upon new code in Py-ART.

Also for a more smooth user experience we recomend to configure pyart to match the kind of files used as well as persornal preferences.

Developed on Python 2.7.7 and 2.7.9 :: Anaconda 2.0.1 and 2.1.0

ARTview has been tested on: MacOSX 10.9.4, 10.10.2, 10.10.4 Linux Debian (Jessie) Linux Red Hat (RHEL6)

It is strongly encouraged to use Python 2.7 or above. There are minor issues with Python 2.6 operability that keep popping up. We make no guarantees that 2.6 will work properly.

WARNING ARTview has been upgraded to use PyQt5. There is a known issue working with an environment that uses Python 3 and PyQt5 on MacOSX (Linux seems to work fine). ARTview defaults to PyQt4 if available, so it is highly recommended that you install PyQt4 if it is not already on your systems. We cannot guarantee that ARTview will work with PyQt5, but will update as fixes become available.

To install a version of of PyQt4, for example if using conda:

conda install pyqt=4.11.4

User Forum

For questions on the use of ARTview please write in the mailing list, or for a bug report please submit an Issue. We appreciate all feedback.


Anderson Gama

Nick Guy

Paul Hein

Jonathan Helmus

Timothy Lang


We would like to thank members of conda-forge for ensuring a working artview-feedstock for distribution.


This is open source software and we love contributions! This is not a primary project for any of the contributors, so please be patient if you have questions/suggestions. In addition it needs to be stated that no responsibility is taken by the authors for any adverse effects.

Special Note

Icons used in FileNavigator were created by oxygenicons ( and distributed at the IconArchive ( under the GNU Lesser General Public License.