User Interfaces for the Visible Human Project

Project Description:

[Slice 1109]The National Library of Medicine is preparing an archive consisting of anatomical images of a male and a female subject, including MRI, CT and Cryosection images. Datasets are expected to be distributed on magnetic or optical media but also by network file transfer and eventually by online database retrieval. This collection of images will be available to a large community of users with varying background and expertise.

We at the HCIL are exploring visual metaphors for browsing and querying anatomy databases. Our first prototypes include novel overview techniques for rapid exploration of volumetric data, and for browsing medical concepts and anatomical terms.



Press: The Visible Human Explorer has made many public appearances in the press.

Papers and Videos:

Screen Shots:

Our Visible Human video (0.75 MB mpeg).

Combined Image and Text Approaches:


3D Approaches:


Applied to browsing Digital Video, Chicken Brains, Digital Libraries, etc.:


Our most recent work allows users to link many different windows together to construct powerful browsing environments for 2D and 3D image browsing:



Downloadable MPG (76MB)


Ben Shneiderman, Professor Computer Science
Catherine Plaisant, Assistant Research Scientist
Chris North, Graduate Student Computer Science
Philip Korn, Graduate Student Computer Science

Web Accessibility