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It's not your ordinary atlas

8 February 2005

It's not your ordinary atlas

Rather than an atlas of the world, University of Auckland student Daniel Wichmann has created an atlas with a bit of a difference.

The Bachelor of Science student is majoring in Computer Science and has developed software that allows people to configure an atlas of the human body.

The program takes scanned images from MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computerized Tomography), and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans to create annotated biomedical data sets.

"The MRI, CAT or PET scan creates a set of images of a person's body. These images form the data set which can then be read in by the program." says Daniel.

The data sets can be uploaded to a server so that the data sets can be accessed from all around the world.

"Many researchers in the medical field produce 3D data sets of the human body but currently they are unable to communicate and explore them interactively over the internet."

Daniel's program allows users to publish their own data sets onto the server as well as view others.

"The atlas is designed to operate as an educational tool where people can navigate through the images from different view points of the body. They can add labels, measure, compare and zoom in and out on the different body parts."

"The program is not just restricted to the human body; it can also be used for animals."

Daniel created the programme as part of a Summer Scholarship research project supervised by Dr. Burkhard Wuensche and funded by the University's Faculty of Science.

Summer Scholarships are awarded to high achieving students to encourage them into graduate research work.

"The Summer Scholarship provided me an opportunity to bring all my knowledge together, from planning how to do the project to the programming of it," Daniel says.

"It also gave me a taste of conducting research, which I found really interesting and challenging."

Daniel recently completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and has just started working full time as a software developer.


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