If you remember the launch of Google Earth and your reaction the first time you saw satellite imagery that allowed you to zoom down and look at your own car parked in your driveway, you’ll be awestruck again by the Google Body Browser.
As the name implies this is a tour inside the human body. Peel back the layers, zoom, rotate and explore your innards in a brand new way. This project is still in the ‘lab stage’ over at Google, but is already an incredible tool. If you are a visual learner, you might find a new love for anatomy.
Google Body Browser allows you to isolate certain organ systems, individual organs and bones to get a better look at them. Once you have the view you want you can zoom and rotate it in three dimensions. All the supporting structures remain visible to keep the context.
Still images don’t do the tool justice. You really need to use the online interactive version. Since this tool is from Google, it seems to work best in Google’s own Chrome browser. You can find it here – .http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/bodyhtml
A couple cool features to point out… You can turn on and off labels to all the different body parts as you explore. If you ever need to study for Jeopardy and learn the name of the muscle that controls your little finger-it’s in there!
Of course since it’s a Google product, you can search too. If you can’t quite remember where the sciatic nerve is you can type it into the search box and it will be highlighted for you. If there are muscles, bones or joints we discuss at an appointment and you want to share the explanation with your spouse or friends later, just search for it by name.
You can also send a link to a specific view that you have created. If you need to share an idea or diagram with another person or save it for future reference, you can create a link that will go right back to that view. Here is an example that should take you directly to a view of the C1 vertebra – also known as the atlas. http://goo.gl/8q0W2
Interacting with this tool makes me wish something like this had been available for anatomy classes. If you have kids or friends in any type of human biology class, forward them this link so they’ll know about this great learning tool.
Have fun exploring Google Body Browser on your own.
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