Tool Kit: Crime Scene Mapping Tools

Eight tools to help with crime scene mapping tasks.


Topcon Positioning Group recently released the GLS-2000 laser scanner. Featuring an expanded field of view, the GLS-2000 is designed to pair with ScanMaster v3.0 software for quickly capturing and processing 3D point cloud data. With a scan range of more than 350 meters, the GLS-2000 is capable of accurately capturing long-distance measurements in applications where access is limited due to safety or logistics concerns. Additional features include a full-dome scanning range, user-selectable Class 3R or 1M laser, and an exclusive laser plummet function that measures instrument height with one-touch operation.
Scan&Go is not a product that will map your scene, but a line of products that will make mapping your scene a whole lot easier. The biggest challenges in scene mapping are mapping quickly, mobilizing your mapping technology, and planning your mapping approach. Scan&Go’s line of products are made for mapping quicker, mobilizing fast, and better vantage points so less planning and logistics are required. Scan&Go has two basic systems: a vehicle mount with lift, and a dolly with lift. Both systems offer mounting and automatic leveling of any 3D laser scanner from FARO, to Leica, to Z+F, and more!
The Crime Scene Investigation - Incident Layout System is used to re-create accurate, precise crime scenes. It was created at the request of high-level investigators to assist in the daunting task of scene re-creation. The CSI Incident Layout System’s library of magnetic symbols includes human models, clothing, vehicles, furniture, weaponry, and many other items found at crime scenes. Once a scene is completed, The Board can be digitally scanned or photocopied to create a permanent record. Investigators then have detailed crime scene representations to further enhance their investigations or courtroom presentations.
The Master Crime Scene Sketching Kit is outfitted with everything needed to quickly and accurately diagram a crime scene. The included vinyl padfolio provides a firm writing surface, and protects the sketching templates and paper when not in use. The entire kit is stored in a rugged, ballistic, nylon portfolio case that includes a zippered front pocket for storing pencils, pens, business cards, and other equipment. It also includes a shoulder strap for convenience.
Combined with the one-touch workflow of the RIEGL V-Line Terrestrial Laser Scanners, RiSOLVE enables fully automatic registration and colorization of 3D scan data. This streamlined process is the fastest solution to acquire, register, and colorize outdoor 3D scans. High-speed laser technology and user-friendly operation in the field provide time savings of 50% compared with traditional collision investigation technologies. Automatic, fast, and accurate point cloud processing provides investigators with true-color scaled 2D Orthoplot deliverables in less than 30 minutes.
The Panoscan PointGun handheld 3D scanner captures high density color point cloud data with unprecedented speed and portability. You can now capture under, around, and behind objects and obstructions in a complex crime scene that escapes capture by a terrestrial laser scanner on a tripod. The software registers on the fly, without the use of targets or any operator calibration, to quickly capture and view a point cloud of a crime or crash scene on-site. And the quality of the captured point cloud data is ideal for measurement to trace floor plans to scale and create 3D models.
Crime and crash scenes can be mapped faster now with the new MapScenes Evidence Recorder Version 10. Making this possible is the software’s video streaming feature that takes advantage of the integrated cameras and scanning capabilities of Leica Nova MS50, a multi-station that incorporates 3D point-cloud measurements into a regular mapping workflow. The EVR10’s video streaming allows the operator to visually define the scanning areas of his project, and point cloud files of the scans can be automatically transferred from the total station.
Crime Zone from FARO is designed especially for forensic investigators and law enforcement officers who need to map crime scene diagrams. It’s easy to draw accurate, realistic, 2D and 3D views of any crime scene that are ideal for courtroom presentations. Crime Zone users can also put their 2D and 3D diagrams in motion with the unique FARO Easy Animation Tools. All FARO CAD Zone products, including Crime Zone, are compatible with industry laser scanners and total stations.


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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)