Using similar algorithms to those found in Google maps, a university professor has produced a revolutionary body-part mapping system that can zoom in to cells at a microscopic level.

A pioneering partnership between Cleveland Clinic, Brown and Stanford Universities and Professor Knothe Tate of the University of New South Wales is using technology from Google and optics company Zeiss to visualize terabytes of data to better understand the human body.

This research could potentially revolutionize our ability to quickly diagnose joint and muscular problems.

Professor Tate, an engineer and expert in cell biology and regenerative medicine, has applied the technology to hip joint studies and is able to zoom in from an image of the whole joint to the individual cells in it, just as you would zoom into individual streets in a city with Google Maps. Microscopy capable of seamless imaging down to nanometer-size molecules is essential to Professor Tate’s work. Ultimately, her use of cutting-edge viewing and mapping technology makes analysis possible in just weeks, where it used to take up to 25 years to complete.

Check this example of the technology at work.