Monday, November 9, 2009

Build your own body!

I recently came across a website where you can build your own body.  It's called Anatomography and it's really fun.

Using the online editor at Anatomography you start out with a complete skeleton.  You can adjust the opacity (how transparent the bones are) or the color of your skeleton . . . or delete it if you like.  Oh, and you can change the background color if you like.

You then add organs from a library of pre-drawn organs.  Any organs you like. Make each one a different color or perhaps color-code them by system.  If you want to remove organs you've added, that's easy.

At any point, you can rotate or tip your body to the desired perspective. Like the image shown here, where I included the spleen (red) and tilted the body so you can see its position easily.

You can save your image to a file or the program will provide you with a URL where the image is located so that you can share it with your friends . . . or the whole class.  (You could even share it with your professor!)

You can also get a URL that links to your image within the editor, so that others can start with your image then add to it or change it in other ways.  This could be great for a study group to share the building of a system . . . or a whole body.

Besides being a fun toy to play with, this could really help you understand the anatomy of the human body by building and unbuilding it . . . rotating it around to different angles . . . highlighting different areas with different colors . . . making organs translucent so you can see through them to nearby organs . . . and more.

It's also a great tool to produce images for your flash cards, your concept maps, your class notes, PowerPoint slides,  and other study tools.

Because your textbook and lab manual cannot possibly illustrate every organ at every possible angle, the images you produce with Anatomography can help you visualize organs that you otherwise would have a hard time visualizing.

The program isn't perfect.  For example, the only skeletal muscle in the available library is the diaphragm.  But for other systems, the library is fairly complete.

What uses can you think of for Anatomography?

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