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Abstract

 

A recent survey shows that a major impediment to more widespread use of computers in anatomy education is the inability to directly manipulate 3-D models, and to relate these to corresponding textual information.  In the University of Washington Digital Anatomist Project we have developed a prototype Web-based scene generation program that combines the symbolic Foundational Model of Anatomy7 with 3-D models.  A Web user can browse the Foundational Model (FM), then click to request that a 3-D scene be created of an object and its parts or branches.  The scene is rendered by a graphics server, and a snapshot is sent to the Web client.  The user can then manipulate the scene, adding new structures, rotating the scene, zooming, and saving the scene as a VRML file.  Applications such as this, when fully realized with fast rendering and more anatomical content, have the potential to significantly change the way computers are used in anatomy education.