[X3D-Public] X3D Expands to Support Medical and Volume Visualization

Anita Havele anita.havele at web3d.org
Thu Jul 26 18:40:47 PDT 2012


The EXtensible 3D Graphics standard (X3D) http://web3d.org/x3d continues to
evolve include more capabilities and improve the clarity and consistency of
its specifications. The third upgrade to X3D (V3.3) release expands X3D
capability to include volume visualization, user-selectable units and
internal technical changes, and it is in final draft ballot at ISO with an
expected release by summer 2013. The publicly released V3.3 specification
documents are available at

This work advances X3D as the leading royalty-free open standard and
run-time architecture to represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects
using XML.


The X3D V3.3 standard includes significant new functionality for
cross-platform, reproducible interactive 3D presentations of anatomic
volumetric data (e.g. CT, MRI, PET scan, and ultrasound), annotations, CAD
models as well as the integration of semantic knowledge-bases (i.e. medical
ontologies such as SNOMED CT). As a Web standard, these rendered displays
can be distributed and shared through secure services and applied to other
domains such as non-invasive sensing and geophysics. The Web3D Consortium
Medical Working Group authored the specification and has successfully
demonstrated several applications with international collaborators including
informed consent, anatomic education, and surgical training.


"The new support for expressive volume rendering styles and annotations in
X3D V3.3 is a milestone for international interoperability within and across
the healthcare enterprise. As a web-aware platform for reproducible medical
presentations, such an open-standard is an integral tool in the effort to
lower costs and improve quality of care." emphasized Michael Aratow, MD,
FACEP and Co-Chair of the Medical Working Group. The functionality for the
interchange of volumetric, polygonal and textual visualizations is collected
into a X3D node set specified as the Medical Interchange Profile, allowing
for software development utilizing only a small, focused subset of the
entire X3D specification relevant to clinical care.


Another significant change is the addition of user-definable units through
the creation of the new UNIT statement.  The user can select the units of
choice from Angstroms to light-years, with similar choices for angle, force,
and mass. X3D will handle all of the conversions from other units (e.g.,
speed) and other models dependent on these base units. This powerful new
feature allows model builders to construct their model in the unit most
appropriate for their work.

In addition, significant work has taken place to improve the overall design
consistency of the entire X3D standard. This includes making the Geospatial
Component more compatible with the Navigation Component, as well as ensuring
that field inheritance is now fully consistent. Most notably, this all been
achieved with minimal or no effect on backwards compatibility.



Best regards,



Anita Havele

Executive Director, Web3D Consortium    <http://www.web3d.org/>

Phone: +1 248 342 7662

Fax: +1 248 457 8018

Skype: anita.havele


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