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plot (rays), plot

Plot rays in Site Viewer map



plot(rays) plots the propagation paths for ray objects in the Site Viewer map.

plot(rays,Name,Value) plots the propagation paths for ray objects in the Site Viewer map with additional options specified by one or more name-value pair arguments.


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Return ray tracing results in comm.Ray objects and plot the ray propagation path after relaunching the Site Viewer map.

Create a Site Viewer map, loading building data for Chicago. For more information about the osm file, see [1].

viewer = siteviewer('Buildings','chicago.osm');

Create and show a transmitter site on one building and a receiver site on another building.

tx = txsite('Latitude',41.8800,'Longitude',-87.6295, ...
rx = rxsite('Latitude',41.881352,'Longitude',-87.629771, ...

Perform ray tracing, returning the ray object results. For the configuration defined, ray tracing returns a cell array containing one ray object. Display the ray object properties. Then, close the Site Viewer map.

rays = raytrace(tx,rx)
rays = 1×1 cell array
    {1×1 comm.Ray}

ans = 
  Ray with properties:

      PathSpecification: 'Locations'
       CoordinateSystem: 'Geographic'
    TransmitterLocation: [3×1 double]
       ReceiverLocation: [3×1 double]
            LineOfSight: 0
    ReflectionLocations: [3×1 double]
              Frequency: 2.5000e+09
         PathLossSource: 'Custom'
               PathLoss: 94.0915
             PhaseShift: 1.2939

   Read-only properties:
       PropagationDelay: 5.7088e-07
    PropagationDistance: 171.1462
       AngleOfDeparture: [2×1 double]
         AngleOfArrival: [2×1 double]
         NumReflections: 1


You can plot the rays without performing ray tracing again. Create another Site Viewer map with the same buildings. Show the transmitter and receiver sites. Using the previously returned cell array of ray objects, plot the reflected rays between the transmitter site and the receiver site. The plot function can plot the path for one ray object at a time.

plot(rays{1},'Type','power', ...


[1] The osm file is downloaded from, which provides access to crowd-sourced map data all over the world. The data is licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL),

Input Arguments

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Ray configuration, specified as one comm.Ray object or a vector of comm.Ray objects. Each object must have the PathSpecification property set to "Locations" and the CoordinateSystem property set to "Geographic".

Data Types: comm.Ray

Name-Value Pair Arguments

Specify optional comma-separated pairs of Name,Value arguments. Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name must appear inside quotes. You can specify several name and value pair arguments in any order as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.

Example: plot(rays,"Type","pathloss","ColorLimits",[-100 0]) adds the propagation path specified in rays to the current Site Viewer and adjusts the default color limits.

Quantity type to plot, specified as "pathloss" or "power". Based on the value specified for Type, the color applied along the path maps to the path loss in dB or the power in dBm of the signal along the path.

Data Types: char | string

Transmitter site, specified as a txsite object.


Applies only when Type is set to "power".

Data Types: char

Receiver site, specified as an rxsite object.


Applies only when Type is set to "power".

Data Types: char

Color limits for colormap, specified as a 1-by-2 numeric vector, [min, max], where min represents the lower saturation limit and max represents the upper saturation limit. The default is [-120 -5] when Type is set to 'power' and [45 160] when Type is set to 'pathloss'.

Data Types: double

Colormap applied to propagation path, specified as an M-by-3 numeric array of RGB (red,green,blue) triplets that define M individual colors.

Data Types: double | char | string

Show color legend on map, specified as true or false.

Data Types: logical

Map for visualization and surface data, specified as a siteviewer object.[1] The default is the current siteviewer object, or if no Site Viewer is open a new siteviewer object opens.

Data Types: siteviewer object

See Also



Introduced in R2020a

[1] Alignment of boundaries and region labels are a presentation of the feature provided by the data vendors and do not imply endorsement by MathWorks®.