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THIS SOFTWARE IS OPEN SOURCE. TO DOWNLOAD, PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

SPIERS (Serial Palaeontological Image Editing and Rendering System) is a package of three programs for the reconstruction and analysis of tomographic (serial image) datasets, such as those obtained from serial-grinding of specimens, or from CT scanning. It is freely available and fully documented.

VAXML (Virtual Anatomy eXtensible Markup Language) is a simple markup-language designed to ease the file-format problems associated with the sharing of "virtual specimen" data. VAXML datasets use one or more STL or PLY files (either binary or ascii) to define the geometry of objects that comprise the dataset, together with one VAXML file that provides metadata on the dataset as a whole, and specifies how the STL/PLY files are to be put together. VAXML is an XML-based language.

STL and PLY files can be generated by most 3D packages from any form of triangle-mesh dataset. STL files are the most reliable interchange format; PLY files generated by some software might not be compatible with SPIERSview, but PLY files can incorporate surface colour information (e.g. from laser scanners).VAXML files can be either hand-generated (see examples and specifications below), or generated by SPIERSview. VAXML exporters and importers for other 3D software packages should be simple to develop, but do not as yet exist.

SPIERSview can act as a free, multiplatform and high-performance VAXML viewer.

SPIERSedit and SPIERSview are written and maintained by Dr Mark Sutton
SPIERSalign is written and maintained by Dr Russell Garwood

SPIERS and VAXML can be downloaded via the following link:

 

Read more about SPIERS and VAXML in the following papers:

Sutton et al. (2001) Methodologies for the Visualization and Reconstruction of Three-dimensional Fossils from the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte, Palaeontologia Electronica, vol. 4, issue 1, art. 1: 17pp

Sutton et al. (2012) SPIERS and VAXML; A software toolkit for tomographic visualisation and a format for virtual specimen interchange. Palaeontologia Electronica Vol. 15, Issue 2; 5T,14p

SPIERS and VAXML

Software package for the reconstruction and analysis of tomographic (serial image) datasets

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