New free software for drawing diagrams of vertebral columns

I already blogged about this over on Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, but since it’s a software release, I figure I ought to mention it on my programming blog, too!


Matt Wedel’s and my 2013 paper on bifurcation in the neural spines of sauropods included the figure above, which shows in schematic form what we know about split spines in the vertebral columns of various specimens. Rather than draw this by hand, I wrote a program to generate it from a simple textual description. It’s called vcd2svg because it converts Vertebral Column Descriptions into Scalable Vector Graphics.

The code is at github, whence you are welcome to download it, play, fork it, submit bugs, offer patches, etc. Or you can get a Perl package from CPAN if you prefer. Documentation of the VCD format is also available.

See the SV-POW! post for more details.

Update (12 April 2014)

I renamed this from the rather opaque vcd2svg to the hopefully more memorable VertFigure.

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