The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)

Digitizing "Roger": Creating a Recommended Osteology Guide for eReaders [ROGeR]


Department of Anthropology, University of West Florida

April 16, 2016 , Atrium Ballroom A/B Add to calendar

Most undergraduate anthropology majors at the University of West Florida are required to take Human Osteology. Study material for class is available on reserve in the library in the form of a plastic skeleton nicknamed "Roger." However, the vast majority of UWF students live off campus, and studying in the library is not always feasible.

In order to solve the problem of access to skeletal material in an ethical manner, we used 3D scanning technology to create a virtual collection of bones. We scanned a total of 102 bones from one individual, including the skull; left and right long bones; representative bones from the hands, feet, vertebrae, and ribs; sacrum; and pelvis.

Our goal was to create a resource that students could easily use and modify. The digital models were converted to .u3d files and embedded into PowerPoint slides with removable labels depicting various landmarks on the bone. Students can download PDF files, which can be opened more easily and used on smartphones, tablets, and other e-readers.

Our aim was to make a better, digital ROGeR with 3D models of real human bone. By creating these osteological materials, we are encouraging UWF students to study outside of the laboratory at virtually any time and opening up access to anyone worldwide. In this way, instructors and students who do not have access to physical remains due to budget, space, or legal issues can utilize a free resource to aid in learning human skeletal anatomy.