Mission: Crime Scene Investigation
Crime Scene Forensic Mapping
Much as with serious vehicle crash scenes, law enforcement agencies may need to accurately diagram and document the relative locations of key evidence within an overall crime scene context. Different equipment and capture techniques may be required depending on the nature of the scene. Outdoor crime scenes, and even some larger indoor scenes such as stores or shopping malls, can often be photogrammetrically scanned with drones similar to those used for vehicle crash investigations. Indoor scenes such as within a home where even a small drone may be unwieldy or create too much wind are more readily scanned with tripod mounted cameras, video, or iOS phone or iPad devices running Pix4Dcatch as the photogrammetry capture mechanism. We have experience in scanning and forensically mapping indoor and outdoors as well as crime scenes in both residential and commercial interior spaces.
As compared to vehicle crash scenes, crime scenes often present additional challenges for photogrammetric capture. The location importance of much smaller items such as shell casings or bullet fragments requires closer range photography. On an outdoor scene this will require operating a drone at lower heights above key evidence or the additional inclusion of hand-held camera photography. Crime scenes are more likely to have evidence not just on the ground. Bullet holes or splatter markings require an accurate understanding of height and thus more oblique photo capture work to accurately model the area.
How we can help
Although logistically impractical for us to assist with on scene work beyond northern Illinois, we can and have assisted agencies across the country with training, consultation, and remote scene processing. Remote assistance can be particularly helpful for agencies new to forensic photogrammetry and who have not yet invested in the software and associated training required. For these cases, agencies can upload the drone captured imagery to us and we will run the photogrammetry and return the easting-northing-elevation point lists, scaled orthograms, diagrams, and animations.