Interactive Human Body

In this time of education initiatives including 1:1 and Interactive Whiteboards, Google has taken another step towards solidifying their role as an education resource. Prior to Christmas break, one of the hot topics on Twitter was Google Lab’s Body Browser.  I found the conversations very interesting  and I decided to investigate the new Google Lab’s resource out of curiosity.  After downloading Google Chrome beta and installing it on my laptop, it was time to test it out.  Here is my overview of Google Lab’s Body Browser.

Screen shot of Google Body Browser

This is a fantastic site for allowing students to interact with the human body and all the components that compose it. There are some features of the site that require a more advanced web browser so they suggest you use one of the following browsers:

  1. Google Chrome Beta
  2. Firefox 4 Beta
  3. Webkit
  4. WebGL implementation information

What I found truly interesting about this interactive site is the ability to rotate, zoom, and pan the human body much like you do in Google Earth and Maps. Some features that will truly catch your attention include the ability to view the skeletal system, circulatory system, nervous system as well as several body organs. When viewing these specific items, use the scroll option in the left hand menu to remove those anatomical layers that compose the human body.

Human Body scroll optionsWhile using the scroll option, I would also suggest clicking on the scroll option on the right hand side (blue option in screenshot). By selecting this option, viewers will have advantage of hiding specific regions of the human body while still viewing other features. The very bottom of the vertical bar allows for names (labels) to appear as the viewer moves around on the site. What I did find as a distraction to having the labels appear was how some overlapped one another making it difficult to read at times.  Finally, their is one additional feature I found beneficial.  As you explore the human body watch the browser’s url address.  The address changes as the body browser changes.  Thus, each unique url could be used to provide quick reference points saving time for students and teachers.

Over all, this is a fantastic site that provides great insight into the human body and how it is composed. To view the site in action, watch the tutorial video I have created to demonstrate how to access the site, selecting an appropriate browser, and walking through the process of accessing each anatomical layer.

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