The A.D.A.M. Student Atlas of Anatomy was designed to be an interactive pictorial guide for the beginning student to master human anatomic methodology and basic terminology as well as the three-dimensional relationships of the body's constituent parts. The next few pages explain how to use the illustrations and special features of the atlas to their fullest advantage.
Among the problems faced by the beginning anatomy student, none is more universally perplexing than acquiring an appreciation of the three-dimensional relationships within the human body. Recent anatomy books have addressed this problem largely through the inclusion of cross-sections, CT, and MRI scans. Typically, anatomical atlases and textbooks illustrate an area or region from only one of the four traditional vertical perspectives (i.e., anterior, posterior, medial, or lateral), and students are left to extrapolate the anatomy of the third dimensional from a two-dimensional picture.
One of the most effective ways of overcoming this problem is to illustrate the region from an orientation that is at right angles to the view in question. Using A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy's distinctive ability to view the body from any one of the four vertical perspectives, figures on many plates depict at least two, and sometime more, orientations. For example, the anterior, medial, and posterior views of the leg in Plate 5.17 make visualizing the location, distribution, and relationships of the superficial veins, especially the clinically important saphenous vein, and cutaneous nerves of the lower limb much easier.