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Public Museums and Science Centers

     The ability to navigate the entire Visible Man and Visible Woman data sets using only a PC makes the Visible Human Explorer an excellent choice for public display of the Visible Human Project data. An implementation of the Visible Human Explorer has been a robust and popular interactive exhibit in the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) since April 1996. This implementation is illustrated in the accompanying video (Movie 1). Millions of visitors to the Science Centre, both adults and children, have been able to interactively scan through over 8,000 high-resolution images of human anatomy of the Visible Man.

     For two and a half years, this exhibit has been running day and night without a single failure. This success is due to the design of a public display system that can absorb abuse and power failure. By eliminating the common graphical user interface consisting of layers of menus, tiny click-boxes, scroll bars and sliders that are too small for young children to navigate, and replacing it with an intuitive user interface that allows immediate feedback to any mouse movement, the system achieves an extremely high degree of usability. By completely controlling the mouse operation, it also manages to avoid various scenarios that may lead to a system crash. The hardware of the system at the Ontario Science Centre consists of merely a Pentium 75 MHz PC with 16 MByte DRAM, 2 MByte graphics card, 17-inch monitor and 4 Gbyte disk drive. The PC is enclosed in a cabinet and the only public interaction is via a two-button trackball.

     The Visible Human Explorer has also been selected to be part of the prestigious Women's Health Exhibit, a large travelling exhibition designed by the Maryland Science Center (Baltimore) for the National Health Sciences Consortium. For the next four to five years, a much expanded version of the Visible Human Explorer including over 30,000 images of the Visible Man and Visible Woman will be first displayed at the Maryland Science Center, and then travel to another eight leading science centers and museums around the United States.

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