Google Body Browser showing the skeleton and organs and the layers controller

Google Body lets you examine the human body like Google Earth lets you examine the planet…well almost.  Google Body Browser is a new release from the Google Labs area which means that it’s not quite ready for prime time.  But despite a few shortcomings I think it could be a good tool for K-12 educators and for those in Health and Human Performance.

What Google Body Browser has…

The body browser allows the user to look at the human body from many layers and many angles.  You can fade or turn off any of these layers to see the layers below.  You can toggle the:

  • skin
  • muscles
  • bones
  • organs
  • circulatory system
  • nervous system

When you click on anything on the body a label pops up that identifies the part.  It makes it really easy for users to explore the body, zooming in and out, and rotating to get a good look at a part from any angle.

What Google Body Browser lacks…

The browser lacks more information.  I’m hoping this will change as the product matures.  I would like to see something equivalent to Google Earth where you can add information, videos, images, etc. to the label so when you click on a part you can choose to see more detailed information.  For example taking a look at the heart is really great but wouldn’t it be more awesome if you could click on the label to see a video of a heart pumping or an animation of how the circulatory system worked?

The browser also only had a female body.  There is no way to change to a male figure.  This is a bit of a flaw.

It’s a bit slow to render the images.  Google Body Browser will also only work well using the Chrome browser made by Google.  It is also a little slow when loading the zoomed out images.  Not prohibitively slow but enough to be noticeable.

Try it out!

As always I invite you to check it out and let me know your opinion using the commenting area below this post.  I’m always interested in how educators think they can use these tools in their classes.  It’s free so there is no reason not to.