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Search bodies in 3D with new anatomy site

Healthline's BodyMaps is a searchable 3D layered map of the human body, with links to articles on diseases, symptoms, and treatments.


Where exactly is the pituitary gland? You can find out with a new 3D body visualization site launched by Healthline Networks and GE Healthymagination that also works as a search engine.

The Healthline BodyMaps site lets users mouse over male or female bodies; rotate them in 360 degrees and click on various tissues and organs; and see various inner systems such as muscular, neurological, and skeletal.

For instance, the circulatory map includes a drop-down list of anatomical terms. Clicking on the heart leads to an enlarged image of the organ, from which you can click on its chambers and arteries to get relevant info.

You can also search for anatomical terms and read related articles on symptoms or treatments, as well as share info with friends. The site is the first of its kind available to all Internet users, according to the developers. Unlike Google Body, the site does not require WebGL.

"Healthline BodyMaps is a Web tool to improve health literacy and empower consumers to make better decisions about their health by linking an innovative, interactive 3D model of the human body to's robust medically guided search platform," says Healthline CEO West Shell III.

"It is a perfect tool to use before, during, or after a visit to the doctor--patients can learn the story behind an ultrasound image, understand how a hip replacement procedure works, or grasp how similar symptoms can be experienced as very different conditions."

The site has more than 950 images based on human body scans created by the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project; a zoom function may be added in the future. BodyMaps is linked to Healthline's search functions whose "semantic taxonomy" includes over "two million terms mapped to over 400,000 health concepts," according to Shell.

It's an interesting descendant of "Gray's Anatomy." I remember a funky layered plastic body atlas in my 1970s World Book Encyclopedia, but that was 2D, in print, and a whole other era altogether.