Idea: A Google Earth for the body

google-body
Update 22. March 07: The Google Body idea has actually reached the ears of Google representative Jan Grønbech. One step closer to getting realized :P

Summary: I’ve been researching Google Earth lately, especially reading about the KML files that allows you to add new layers of information to Google Earth very easily, presenting your information on top of Google Earth.

But then I got this idea: There should be a Google Earth and a Google Map for the body, where you could rotate and navigate the human body in 3d, and zoom in, but instead of stopping on the surface, the zoom should continue through the skin, so that you could look on all the different layers, organs etc. I remember having a great encyclopedia on our home with transparent foils, each removing a layer of the body, the last layer showing the skeleton, the different parts of the body labeled with text: I spent hours looking at the female sexual reproduction organs it.

A user on digg suggested Jessica Alba as the female modelImage: A Digg comment suggest using Jessica Alba as the female model. I would have to agree wholehartedly :)

But what if you had a much more detailed model of the human body(*), and an interface to place “coordinates” on it, and something like a geocoder and an API to make it easy for content creators of all types to present the model on their website, just like you can with Google Map or Yahoo Maps today. And you could use something like the KLM format to let users present realtime data, for instance articles from a search engine, from magazines and newspapers, from research institutions etc. For instance, you could load the “map”, and have a graphical representation of all the research or news publish in the last 24 hours about the human body, like cancer research, advances in medicine, but also the possibility to add flickr images etc onto the model, for a more arty experience.

Perhaps presented as different categories or label. But most importantly, a solution that is very open for people to add on to, easy to share also in 2d, and with the ability to zoom and “fly” through the body.

Update! I just googled and found that Google is actually making this! The article is datestamped 12th of september 2007, so I beat them to it by a few months, and by them I mean the firm eHuman.com :)

Read more:
Move Over Google Maps, Get Ready For ‘Google Body’.
NBC Video
ehuman.com

(* well, probably two, one for each gender, and perhaps some for the different ages of man.)

7 Comments

  1. A great idea!

  2. It could have a slider for age. Park on a bodypart, move the sliders and see it age.

  3. Hm, good idea. Like an artery, watch it clog up etc.

  4. Have you seen this collection of resources: Online Anatomy and Medical Illustration Resources?

  5. Chad-Michael Simon September 15, 2007 at 18:32

    That’s funny. I was just sitting here at my computer when my daughter came to the table next to me with her Human Body book. We had just been looking at Google Earth, and I thought, “They need a Google Body!” Appropriately, I Googled “google body” and saw that many people have had the same idea, too, and that it’s in development. Cool.

  6. Thanks for the comment Chad, it would be a great tool to use, that is for sure, and I am sure someone will make it. By the way, your daugter might like the game trauma surgeon for the Nintendo Wii gaming console, where you can play a surgeon. I haven´t played it myself, but it looks interesting.

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