Summary form only given. The direct formation of semiconductor quantum dots by crystal growth is an exciting development for the study and application of zero-dimensional electronic structures. This approach, which is based upon island formation during heteroepitaxial growth of lattice mismatched semiconductor systems, produces a high spatial density (10/sup 10/ cm/sup 2/) of nanometer-scale dots. Here, we report on spatially- and spectrally-resolved luminescence from self-organized quantum dots formed from In/sub 0.4/Ga/sub 0.6/As/Al/sub 0.5/Ga/sub 0.5/As multilayers on a (311)B oriented GaAs substrate. We use a near-field optical probe to achieve high spatial resolution in optical measurements and to map the surface topography. We correlate topographic features with the underlying localized luminescence, and discuss the results in terms of the formation, environment, and structure of self-organized quantum dots on high index semiconductor substrates.