The authors report the investigation of surface plasmon waves (SPW) generated by single nanohole and nanohole arrays. Scattering-type scanning near-field microscopy is used to directly observe near-field distribution. The images after Fourier transformation display characteristic patterns that match with the derived analytic formula. The correspondence helps to identify the role of the scanning tip in generating SPW, making possible of the removal of this tip-induced effect. This study provides a means to perform in-depth investigation on surface plasmon polaritons.