There are times when you come across an online tool or application and the cutting-edge quality of it just drops your jaw in wonder. It isn't often that happens, but when it does, it's a resource that you remember long after.
For biology or human anatomy educators and students, the Google Body Browser
is one of those applications that has the potential of becoming one of the most useful tools both inside and outside the classroom. And for anyone else, Google Body Browser offers one of the most advanced ways to explore the human body in ways that you probably never imagined possible.
Picture Google Body Browser as a sort of "Google Maps" of the human body. You can explore entire systems of the human body, and strip away those complete systems to observe and explore the underlying parts of the body. It is an impressive tool, and one that is sure to keep you enthralled for many hours.
Google Body Needs WebGL
When you first visit the Body Browser, it may not work, depending on which browser you use. For most Google Chrome browsers, you shouldn't have a problem. However, if you're using a version of Firefox earlier than 4.0, then WebGL will not be enabled and it won't work. You'll ether need to figure out how to enable WebGL, upgrade to the latest Firefox version, or use Google Chrome.
Google Body Welcome Page
If it does work as it should, you'll see a green "Go to Google Body" on the main welcome page. Just click on the button to get started.
Exploring a Virtual Body
Gone are the days when biology teachers or scientists require a full-scale skeleton model in the lab or classroom. You can also throw out those reference books detailing the many systems of the human body. With Google Body, you have a virtual human body available to "dissect" whenever you wish. You can toggle between a female and a male body by clicking the male/female icons at the top of the control bar to the left.
Explore the Muscular System
As you work your way down the left navigation bar, you'll notice that the systems you can explore start from the outer parts of the body and move inward. The first system you can explore is the muscular system. Click on any one muscle to see its proper name as it highlights on the body.
Removing the Muscular System
As you move down the left navigation bar, the entire system above it gets stripped away. Now you can see all of the internal body systems without muscles getting in the way. You also have the ability to use side-sliders for each system on the navigation menu, so you can customize which body systems are shown.
Zoom and Explore
When you're ready to be amazed, click on the plus and minus buttons above the navigation bar to zoom. As the view gets closer to the body, you can see every intricate detail of each system - including small organs and bones, lymph nodes, blood vessels and nerves. You can also change the view perspective by clicking and dragging the body to swivel the view.
As you explore and map out the parts of the human body you're interested in, you can use the "pin" tool to keep the name of the object, like an organ, vessel or nerve, pinned to the body so that you can remember where it's located. For teachers, this is an excellent way to help students remember the names of different body systems.
Using the "hide" tool, you can use the mouse to click on muscles, bones, organs and other body objects so that you can get them out of the way. Using this tool, you can really burrow into the body to see nerves and blood vessels that are very difficult to get to during a typical real-world dissection.
Integrated with Social Tools
Of course, just like most other tools out there today, Google Body is integrated with "sharing" tools, like a Twitter button, which lets you share your Google Body view with other people. Once you've pinned your own customized "map" of the human body, share it out with your biology friends. Teachers can create assignments for students to find and pin specific structures and then email the results to complete the homework assignment.
Easy Search Tool
If you're completely lost and you don't even know where to start to find any part of the human body, Google offers a helpful "navigator" tool that you can access by clicking on "links" in the toolbar. With Links, you can see pre-made body views that highlight specific systems of the human body.
To date, Google Body is one of the most valuable tools that Google has offered to educators in a long time. The ability to customize a view of any body system, and the ease with which you can navigate and map out anatomy and biology will make this an invaluable resource for students, teachers and anyone else fascinated by the human body.
internet, computer, study, education, educational, program, free, kids, kindergarten, learn ABC online ABCs 123s, numbers, children, education, school, schools, K12, internet, learn on line, flash,google body browser, google body, google body site, google human body