Google Maps The Human Body - InformationWeek

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12/17/2010
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Google Maps The Human Body

WebGL-based 3D app explores the inner anatomy and function of muscles, organs, bones, and more.

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Google, which gave people a closer perspective of the world through Google Earth and Street View, on Thursday brought people a new way to view themselves with the beta release of Body Browser, a three-dimensional model that lets users zoom in and out of the human form, remove layers, and explore the body.

The solution relies on 3D graphics application programming interface WebGL running within a browser, and Google recommends that users download its most recent version of Chrome to use Body Browser. Other options -- listed at Khronos -- also include Safari and Firefox/4.0b1.

"Body Browser is a detailed 3D model of the human body," Google said in its introduction. "You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones, and more."

Developed by Google Labs, the software is still in beta and has not yet been officially released; users -- and hopeful users -- reported some problems and bugs, including unsuccessful attempts to put the product through its paces, according to comments posted online.

Users can search for muscles, organs, and bones; identify parts of the anatomy; zoom in and out of various body parts; view inter-connections and inner-workings; and share information by copying and pasting.

On its Chrome Experiments Web site, Google has a menu of demonstrations showcasing WebGL's capabilities. The site includes Music Visualizer, a jukebox that synchronizes 3D graphics to music beats; Collectibles Painter, a collectibles-figure designer; and Nine Point Five, which lets users browse real earthquake data in 3D.

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