The MicroCTvlab is a service which was created in order to present and disseminate micro-CT (micro-computed tomography) datasets through the framework of the LifeWatchGreece project (https://www.lifewatchgreece.eu/). This service offers virtual galleries and online tools for the 3D manipulation of the micro-CT datasets. The creation and dissemination of these "cyber-specimens" aim to contribute to a massive digitization of biological collections.
Homepage - On the main page of the Micro-CTvlab a preview of the micro-CT datasets is presented. These datasets represent a variety of marine organisms which are scanned with different parameters.
Search: Search functionality is available, allowing for simple search or advanced search of micro-CT datasets (eg. by species name:"Cystoseira sp.", classification: "Polychaeta", scanning parameters:"60 kV" etc).
General Info - By clicking a dataset, a short description of the specimen and its classification details are shown. Furthermore, a series of 3D images of the specimen and other related datasets are presented.
3D Visualization - By clicking the 3D visualization tab, the Slice:Drop software (http://slicedrop.com/) is activated where the user can manipulate (rotate, zoom, change colours) the micro-CT dataset and see it in 3D. For guidelines for the use of Slice:Drop click the help button in the 3D visualization tab. Slice:Drop software requires recent versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Android and IOS. The web version of the embedded microCT dataset is in low resolution. The original dataset can be accessed by contacting us.
Video - By clicking the video tab, the micro-CT dataset can be previewed through a short 3D animation. The interior and exterior parts of the specimen are visualized through these videos so the user can view the content of the dataset without having to download the whole set of files.
Metadata - This information is retrieved dynamically from the "Data Services" – the central metadata repository of the LifeWatchGreece Infrastructure. Although very detailed metadata parameters are recorded during the creation of each dataset, not all of these are currently being displayed through the Micro-CTvlab, as the data flow to and from the central metadata repository is still under development.