Direct far-field visualization and characterization of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are of great importance for fundamental studies and technological applications. To probe the evanescently confined plasmon fields, one usually requires advanced near-field techniques, which is typically not applicable for real-time, high-throughput detecting or mapping of SPPs in complicated environments. Here, we report the utilization of rare-earth-doped nanoparticles to quantitatively upconvert invisible, evanescently confined SPPs into visible photoluminescence emissions for direct far-field visualization of SPPs in a complicated environment. The observed interference fringes between the SPPs and the coherent incident light at the metal surface provide a quantitative measurement of the SPP wavelength and the SPP propagating length and the local dielectric environments. It thus creates a new signaling pathway to sensitively transduce the local dielectric environment change into interference periodicity variation, enabling a new design of directly measurable, spectrometer-free optical rulers for rapid, ultrasensitive label-free detection of various biomolecules, including streptavidin and prostate-specific antigen, down to the femtomolar level.