Google Earth and Panoramic Photo Software in the Management of Virtual Slides.
Luis Alfaro, Enrique Poblet, Mª Jose Roca, Pablo Catala, Amparo Navea. Fundacion Oftalmologica del Mediterraneo, Valencia, Spain; Albacete University, Spain; Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, Valencia, Spain
Background: Virtual slides are high resolution scanned images obtained from glass slides, and stored in a multi-layered pyramidal file format to allow review at computer screens with quick “zoom in” and “drag” along the image, simulating an optical microscope. Virtual microscopy has greatly developed; however, high prices of scanners and software have hindered a much broader implementation. We have tested the use of free and low cost software to overcome these limitations. Google Earth and diverse panoramic photo software share with virtual microscopy the fact of using image zooming and dragging. They seem suitable to be adapted for virtual slides.
Design: Ten slides from the files of our hospital with samples of different size and shape were retrieved. Two scanners were used to obtain virtual slides, a Mirax Midi (Zeiss) and an Aperio XT. Scanned files with .mrxs and .svs specific extensions were exported to conventional .tiff and .jpg files. New images with pyramidal structure were generated for Google Earth, Zoomify, HD View, Silverlight Deep Zoom, and Gigapan. Images were hosted in two servers, a commercial hosting server (http://e-pat-org/vs/COMP), and a portable USB hard drive with Apache server software.
Results: All five software options allowed the display of the virtual slides without limitations for diagnostic purposes. Some advantages and minor differences between programs were mainly found regarding conversion processes from the original slides. Google Earth showed a good display, but a slower pyramidal structure creation when using big size samples (i.e. 2 x 2 cm) with the generators used (Map Tiler, and Google Earth Photo Overlay Creator). Zoomify, which is based on Flash, had a slightly less soft transition between fields, but a higher compatibility, and an excellent viewer to compare two different images. HD View had the fastest converter, and a very good quality, but a specific plug-in was required. Silverlight Deep Zoom had also a clean transition between fields but the converter (Deep Zoom Composer) showed incompatibilities with .tiff files using JPEG compression. The major limitation of Gigapan is that files have to be hosted at Gigapan server.
Conclusions: Free and low cost software for virtual microscopy is available with no need of high computer knowledge, and is highly suitable to establish compatibility between different virtual microscopy devices.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 1:00 PM
Poster Session IV # 182, Tuesday Afternoon