Visible Human Explorer
The HCIL Visible Human Explorer:
Version 2.1 (Oct. 18, 1996)
Computer Science Department
University of Maryland at College Park
The Visible Human Explorer (VHE) prototype is an experimental user
interface for browsing the National
Library of Medicine's Visible Human data set, and demonstrates a general
interface for volume exploration. The interface allows users to browse
a miniature Visible Human volume, locate images of interest, and automatically
retrieve desired full resolution images over the internet from the NLM
archive. The prototype can also browse those images which have been previously
downloaded to the local machine. The VHE is a working program, and can
greatly assist you in browsing and retrieving remote and local Visible
The VHE can now retrieve and display Visible Human CT Scans too.
Help, TroubleShooting, and Hackers' Notes Page.
Click on this image to retrieve a life-size snapshot of the VHE
interface (100K gif).
The VHE runs on Sun Workstations only. We currently do not have plans
to port it to other machines such as PCs, Macs, SGIs, etc.
The VHE is part of our research project on User
Interfaces for the Visible Human. There you can find more information
about the VHE, including technical reports and videos, and about new work
Obtaining the HCIL Visible Human Explorer:
The VHE is freely available for your use. This page will assist you in
downloading and running the program. We hope that the VHE will be useful
for you in accessing the Visible Human. In return, we ask that you register
with us and send us your comments about the interface.
Please note that this experimental prototype is NOT guaranteed to be
bug-free or functional on every system.
Your System Requirements:
Sun Sparcstation (ie. you must have a SUN Unix workstation, not
SunOS or Solaris operating system (type "uname -r", you should see 4.?
X Windows with 8bit color
apx. 30 Megs free disk space
gunzip (unix decompression program) and tar (unix archive program)
To get it running:
- Create a directory to put the VHE data and executables in.
the VHE data file into that directory. Beware: This file is
approximately 12 Megs.
- Download the VHE executable file, corresponding to your Sun's
operating system, into that directory:
- Uncompress the VHE data and executable files:
% gunzip vhe_data.tar.gz
% tar -xvf vhe_data.tar
% rm vhe_data.tar
If you got the SunOS executable:
% gunzip vhe_sunos.tar.gz
% tar -xvf vhe_sunos.tar
% rm vhe_sunos.tar
If you got the Solaris executable:
% gunzip vhe_solaris.tar.gz
% tar -xvf vhe_solaris.tar
% rm vhe_solaris.tar
- Run it!
- For assistance, see the VHE Help,
TroubleShooting, and Hackers' Notes Page.
to our short User Questionare to help us build better user interfaces!
Send comments to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HCIL Visible Human Explorer gets around:
Press and Appearances:
Beardsley, "Profile: Humans Unite!", Scientific American, pg. 35-36, (March 1999).
Pursuit of the Display Model", Washington Post, pg. C1, (October
Wheeler, "The Visible Man: a Cadaver in Cyberspace",
The Chronicle of
Higher Education, Vol. XLII, Num. 21, pg. A6, (February 2, 1996).
Technology Playpen section, (October 1995).
Hogarth, Hutchinson, An
Internet Guide for the Health Professional, New Wind Publishing,
Internet Resources for Diagnostic Imaging, BIOMEDIS, PMSI Japan,
Health and Medical Informatics Digest, (January 2000).
Dix et al., Human-Computer Interaction, Prentice Hall Europe, (1998).
Television: PBS, Maryland State of Mind, (January 28, 1999). BBC.
Various news and magazine articles around the country...
See project page for list of publications.