Mapping the human body. A Guided Tour of the Visible Human. The very fact that I can post today’s digital map is a sign of how fundamental certain changes in human society have been. Anatomical studies of the human body used to be verboten, and doctors would be reduced to grave robbery if they wished to perform autopsies. Today, things are a little different.
You could start your tour of the human body with annotated images, with cross-sections such as the abdomen pictured above, or the cross-section though the thigh, but I think the following, animated bits are more what I had in mind for the Electro-Map gallery.
Transverse Plane: This section will lead you through a majestic vertical descent through a male human body. The provided gif animates 135 transverse plane cross-sections that “form a series of slices, rather like stacking a group of pancakes atop one another” in which you can clearly see a heart, liver, brain and some tiny tippie-toes. You can also choose a Coronal or a Sagittal view.
I think I could watch the transverse plane animation for hours, trying to “identify a single organ on a single pass through the body.” It’s so beautiful and entrancing, a form of meditation that I could get into.
And you wait, awaiting the one
to make your small life grow:
the mighty, the uncommon,
the awakening of stone,
the depths to be opened below.
Now duskily in the bookcase
gleam the volumes in brown and gold;
you remember lands you have wandered through,
the pictures and the garments
of women lost of old.
And you suddenly know:It was here!
you pull yourself together, and there
stands an irrevocable year
of anguish and vision and prayer.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Tomorrow, a traveling carnival of carto-photography.