For current software see the Woolz software page.

IIP3D (formerly WlzIIP) is a protocol for delivering image tiles corresponding to a virtual section cut at any orientation through a volumetric image. The impementation includes a server, configured as a fast-cgi module, and an Ajax/javescript viewer to provide a novel fast method to access large 3D volumetric data sets. We especially target biological or medical imaging 3D images and atlases. The mechanism of browsing is similar to Google maps, but instead of a 2D map a 3D volumetric data is visualised.

The IIP3D server extends the IIP [1] protocol and provides a standard for visualising 3D and the web based client server architecture of IIP3D Viewer and IIP3D Server provides an alternative solution to the 3D atlas model viewing offered by the JAtlasViewer.

The IIP3D server runs on a compute-server as a standalone image- or combined web and image server. The web server (e.g. apache2) forwards image requests using the IIP3D and extended IIP protocol. The IIP3DProxy allows switching requests between several image servers. This is especially useful if the web server is on the public internet, while the image servers are on a private network. IIP3DProxy allows a single access point to the image servers.

More information of the IIP3D can be found in our Technical report [2] and the publication [3]. Another publication is currently under review.

A number of example interfaces linked to the IIP3D server are linked below and provide access to image volumes up to 135GB. Older demonstrators associated with [3] are also available: Old Demos.

  1. eMouseAtlas E14.5 mouse embryo reconstruction. Standard model interface with measurement options.
  2. Large mouse embryo model (30GB) from
  3. Waxholm space adult mouse brain model - multiple overlaid image volumes with anatomy. Data from INCF.
  4. Visible Human Dataset (18GB).
  5. Large volume (135GB) colour image constructed as 8 x visible human dataset.
  6. Human embryo view showing anatomy and gene-expression overlay from the HUDSEN database.
  7. Virtual Adult Fly Brain - volumetric image, overlaid anatomy and query of the ontology dataset.

Screenshot of IIP3D viewer showing human embryo atlas and data

Source code: freely available, please contact the authors.


[1] Internet Imaging Protocol, version 1.0.5, I3A, 1997,

[2] IIP extension for Woolz sectioning, Technical Report, EMAP/Report/000024, MRC Human Genetics Unit, 2008

[3] Woolz IIP: A Tiled On-the-fly Sectioning Server for 3D Volumetric Atlases, Zsolt L. Husz, Thomas P. Perry, Bill Hill, Richard A. Baldock, 5th International Symposium on Visual Computing, 2009 Bibtex