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The Visible Human Project®


The Visible Human Project® is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed. The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals.

The long-term goal of the Visible Human Project® is to produce a system of knowledge structures that will transparently link visual knowledge forms to symbolic knowledge formats such as the names of body parts.

The National Library of Medicine thanks the men and the women who will their body to science, thereby enabling medical research and development.

Further Information

  • General Information
  • NLM Initiatives
    • Cryosection, MRI and CT image data of the head of a 72 year old male. Cryosections done at 0.174mm intervals and photographed at a resolution of 1056 x 1528 pixels. Work done at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, under contract to NLM. Available only to VHP license holders. These images can be found in the directory BWH_Harvard when logged on to the NLM image server.
    • AnatLine: a prototype system consisting of an anatomical image database and an online browser developed at the National Library of Medicine.
    • AnatQuest: the overall goal of the AnatQuest project is to explore and implement new visually and compelling ways to bring anatomic images from the Visible Human dataset to the general public. Includes 3D renderings and labeled views.
    • Insight Toolkit (ITK): an open-source software toolkit for performing registration and segmentation, developed by six principal organizations under contract to the NLM, three commercial (Kitware, GE Corporate R&D, and Insightful), and three academic (UNC Chapel Hill, University of Utah, and University of Pennsylvania).
  • Information from the contractors for the Project
  • Proceedings from The Visible Human Project Conferences - The information presented here is identical to that distributed on CD-ROM to conference attendees. Please refer to section "Disc Info" or "About This CD-ROM", for pertinent information.
  • Publications
    • VHJOE: Visible Human Journal of Endoscopy.
    • NLM's Current Bibliographies in Medicine, Visible Human Project® (CBM 2013-4 to 2014-5): 39 citations from April 2013 through May 2014.
    • NLM's Current Bibliographies in Medicine, Visible Human Project® (CBM 2010-3 to 2013-3): 75 citations from March 2010 through March 2013.
    • NLM's Current Bibliographies in Medicine, Visible Human Project® (CBM 2009-6 to 2010-3): 33 citations from June 2009 through March 2010.
    • NLM's Current Bibliographies in Medicine, Visible Human Project® (CBM 2007-4 to 2009-5): 38 citations from April 2007 through May 2009.
    • NLM's Current Bibliographies in Medicine, Visible Human Project®(CBM 2007-1): 912 citations from January 1987 - March 2007.
    • Banvard, Richard A., The Visible Human Project®Image Data Set From Inception to Completion and Beyond, Proceedings CODATA 2002: Frontiers of Scientific and Technical Data, Track I-D-2: Medical and Health Data, Montréal, Canada, October, 2002.
    • D-Lib magazine article entitled "Accessing the Visible Human Project®" by Michael J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Send queries about the Visible Human Project®
photo of mid-torso slice