Study Evaluates Forensic Photo Scales

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available a final technical report, Dimensional Review of Scales for Forensic Photography.


Massimiliano Ferrucci, Dimensional Metrology Group (DMG); Theodore D. Doiron, DMG; Robert Thompson, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); John P. Jones II, NIST; Susan M. Ballou, NIST; Janice A. Neiman, University of Delaware


The forensic science community recognizes the American Board of Forensic Odontology No. 2 Bitemark Scale as a reliable and accurate tool for providing a geometrical reference in the photographic documentation of evidence. However, studies of commercially available scales show a lack of both consistency in manufacturing processes and adherence to the standard. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of commercially available photo scales, document manufacturing processes and suggest pathways for establishing standards for forensic photo scales that will ensure accuracy and instill user confidence.

Download the report here

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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)