Friday, December 24

Another amazing Google freebie

I am still wowed by Google Earth, and very much appreciate its usefulness and beauty. Google recently launched another fascinating and enlightening application, Google Body. In order for it to run on your computer, you have to have a Web browser that utilizes a new technology called WebGL. Google’s own browser, Google Chrome Beta has it of course, and so does Firefox 4 Beta. This technology will become standard on all browsers because of its ability to run applications in the browser with no support from plug-ins or other applications. It’s speedy and powerful.

Already physicians are using Google Body (aka BodyBrowser) to educate their patients. The user is able to choose among muscles, skeleton, circulatory system, organs and nervous system. You can display them one at a time or in any combination and adjust their transparency to see what’s behind the elements. Click on an organ and see what its name is. Or turn on the label view and see the names of all the parts. Enlarge, reduce, rotate, tilt—view the body from the top of the head or the soles of the feet.

Here’s a feature that’s really amazing—look at the address bar where the URL is located at the top of your browser window.

As you change your view of the body, a series of numbers in the URL changes. When you get the parts, angle of view, and size you want, you can copy that URL and email it to someone who can paste it into their browser and get the exact same view as you have on your screen. Now that is amazing!

One thing that’s required to successfully search is that you can’t use common terms; you have to use proper medical terminology. I got no result from entering noggin, belly button, funny bone, or butt. Bummer.

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