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NIJ Funded Software Tools, Apps and Databases

NIJ has funded a number of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research. Find tools for:

Software and Online Tools
Title Developer Description Availability and Cost
Communications of Public Safety
CAPRAD: Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database System Communications Technology Center of Excellence CAPRAD is a nationwide database for public safety professionals to coordinate the use of and application for frequencies in the 700 and 800-MHz band. Because the band is limited and the demand is growing in many parts of the country for spectrum utilization, coordination and cooperation are a must for the benefit of public safety. CAPRAD is separated into three functional segments: an allocation segment that provides for the pre-allocation of the spectrum by region, an application segment which provides interactive and coordinated application for frequencies using the FCC Form 601, and an administrative/reporting segment that provides specialized access for administrative functions. Select features are available to all uses. Full access is limited to frequency coordinators or members of Regional Planning Committees or Interoperability Planning Committee.
Digital Forensics
FileTSAR Purdue University The Toolkit for Selective Analysis & Reconstruction of Files (FileTSAR) captures data flows and provides a mechanism to selectively reconstruct multiple data types, including documents (e.g., doc, docx, pdf), images (e.g., jpg, png, gif) email (based on SMTP, IMAP, IMP), and VoIP sessions for large-scale computer networks. We aimed to create a tool that addressed the challenges faced by digital forensic examiners when investigating cases involving large-scale computer networks. FileTSAR also uses hashing for each carved file to maintain the forensic integrity of probative data. FileTSAR is available to law enforcement for free.
National Software Reference Library (NSRL) NIST The National Software Reference Library is designed to collect software from various sources and incorporate file profiles computed from the software into a Reference Data Set (RDS) of information. The RDS can be used by law enforcement, government and industry organizations to review files on a computer by matching file profiles in the RDS. This will help alleviate much of the effort involved in determining which files on computers or file systems seized as part of criminal investigations are important as evidence. $90 annual subscription (quarterly updates), open to all users.
MacResponse LE™ AIS, Inc. MacResponse LE is a computer-incident response toolkit for law enforcement that provides the ability to efficiently acquire and analyze volatile system data from running Mac OS X systems. MacResponse LE consists of two applications: the Live application, which executes from an external storage device (e.g., USB drive), and the Console application, which is the offline analysis component.

The Console is available for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Free and open to all users.
Fire and Arson Investigation
Burning Item Database Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida
The Burning Item Database is a collection of fire test data for commonly used household and office furniture (e.g., chairs, sofas, mattresses, bookcases). The original data were collected during furniture calorimeter tests and the database was constructed from a review of different sources presenting test results, including books, articles published in technical journals and technical websites on the internet. Free and open to all users.
Material Thermal Properties Database Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida
The Material Thermal Properties Database is a small collection of thermal properties for materials used to construct common objects found in households and offices. Thermal properties relevant to fire behavior include thermal conductivity, mass density, specific heat, and, for materials that may undergo thermal degradation, heat of gasification and ignition temperature. Free and open to all users.
Smokeless Powders Database National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida The Smokeless Powders Database is a reference collection of information and data on powders obtained from various sources, including vendors and manufacturers. It is designed to assist forensic explosives analysts in characterizing, classifying and comparing smokeless powder samples based on their physical and chemical properties. Each database record contains a photomicrograph of the powder, its source information and its physical characteristics, as well as GC-MS and FTIR data identifying the chemical components. Free and available to all users.
Ignitable Liquids Database National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida

Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives
The Ignitable Liquids Reference Collection is a compilation of reference materials used by forensic analysts to conduct fire debris analysis. The collection consists of a comprehensive set of ignitable liquids and accompanying characterization data used in the analysis of fire debris samples in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials E-1618 standard test methods. Free and available to all users.
Substrate Database National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida

Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives
The Substrate Database is a compilation of headspace GC/MS data from burned and unburned materials that are common to fire scenes. These materials may produce compounds that can interfere with the identification of ignitable liquids in fire debris. The Substrate Database can assist a fire debris analyst by demonstrating the types of compounds and chromatographic patterns that may be produced by these commonly encountered materials. Free and open to all users.
Forensic Biology/DNA
Sexual Assault Lubricant Database National Center for Forensic Science

The Sexual Assault Lubricant Database is a compilation of reference lubricants, characterization data, instrumental data and classification models that assist  forensic scientists to conduct lubricant analysis in sexual assault cases. This database includes various types of lubricants that can be used to facilitate a sexual assault.

This database is intended to be a reference and resource for the forensic lubricant community to provide a methodology of analyzing and classifying unknown lubricants collected in sexual assault kits

Free and open to all users.
Forensic Resource Reference on Genetics Knowldgebase (FROG-kb) Yale University FROG-kb is an online database intended to make allele frequency data for SNPs and other genetic polymorphisms more useful in a forensic setting. FROG-kb is implementing computational tools that use the underlying allele frequencies with user-provided data. These tools are organized by the methodology followed and by the different published SNP/marker panels available. FROG-kb uses the data from the ALlele FREquency Database, ALFRED. Free and open to all users.
AutoDimer NIST AutoDimer software was developed to rapidly screen previously selected PCR primers for primer-dimer and hairpin interactions in short DNA oligomers (< 30 nucleotides). AutoDimer was originally created to assist in the development of multiplex PCR assays for probing STR and SNP markers for forensic purposes. Free and open to all users.
Multiplex_QA NIST Multiplex QA, Excel-based software works in conjunction with the NIH-developed BatchExtract system to help users visualize short- and long-term changes in ABI 310 and 3100 electropherogram quality. BatchExtract converts ABI binary .fsa files into readily usable text data. Multiplex QA then uses these files to estimate and display quality metrics that capture changes in electropherographic resolution and efficiency. Free and available to all users.
mixSTR: Software to Help Identify Reference Profiles NIST and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office mixSTR is an Excel-based tool that can help identify reference profiles in sets of mixed-source samples. Given allele lists for one or more evidentiary samples and all relevant suspect and control reference profiles, mixSTR provides detailed lists of the match and mismatch alleles among all samples and STR profiles. Sorted summaries of the percent of included alleles and loci for all comparisons are also provided. This tool is intended for use by forensic scientists working with mixed-source samples, particularly cases involving a number of suspects. Free and available to all users.
STR_ConvertFormats Software NIST STR ConvertFormats is an Excel-based tool developed to transform STR typing data from tables where every row contains information from a single locus (e.g., GeneMapperID output format) to a format where every row contains all typing results for a single sample (e.g., Genotyper table format). Free and available to all users.
STR_MatchSamples NIST STR MatchSamples is an Excel-based tool developed to aid comparison of STR genotypes from two or more data sets. The Exact Match function creates a list of all samples that are fully concordant at all loci between the samples being compared. The Best Match function compares each sample to all others to look for other samples in the data set with similar genotypes. Free and available to all users.
Virtual Mixture Maker NIST Virtual Mixture Maker is an Excel-based tool developed to aid in sample selection for the NIST Mixture Interpretation Study (MIX05). This program performs a pairwise comparison of STR profiles in a dataset and reports the number of loci possessing zero to six alleles in all possible two-person mixtures. Free and available to all users.
Forensic Document Examination
Forensic Information Management
Forensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death Investigation
3D-ID: Geometric Morphometric Classification of Crania for Forensic Scientists Florida State University

North Carolina State University
3D-ID is a Java program that provides geometric morphometric tools to aid in the assessment of the sex and ancestral affiliation of unknown cranial remains. When users provide 3D-ID with the three-dimensional coordinates of anatomical points available from the subject, the program constructs comparable reference samples and assigns the subject to one of several groups for which sufficient data are available.

Works with any platform supporting Java.
Free and open to all users.
Forensic Toolmarks
Ballistics Toolmark Research Database National Institute of Standards and Technology This is an open-access research database of bullet and cartridge case toolmark data. The database contains traditional reflectance microscopy images and three-dimensional surface topography data acquired by NIST or submitted by database users. Free but available for non-commercial research use only and registration is required.
Human trafficking
Measuring Outcomes for Survivors of Human Trafficking RTI International Many programs offer comprehensive services to victims and survivors of human trafficking. However, better information is needed about how program participation changes clients’ lives. This evaluation instrument is designed to be completed by service providers about the clients they serve. The instrument measures client status in four key areas: safety, well-being, social connectedness, and self-sufficiency. Free and available after registration.
Law enforcement investigation
368+ Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law Enforcement Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, University of California, Irvine One in ten older Americans experiences abuse or neglect each year. The number of abuse reports are growing at the same time that resources for agency responses are shrinking. To help California law enforcement in this critical work, here is a mobile app "cheat sheet" for responding to abuse of elders and dependent adults (vulnerable adults with disabilities).
- This app was not sponsored by NIJ but does present NIJ-funded research.
- Some parts of the app are specific to California law.

Available for Droid devices, iPhones/iPads and mobile web.
Free for a limited time and available to all users.
Mapping and Analysis
PROVE Utility Temple University The PROVE utility provides a free tool for police departments to make geographic forecasts of crime risk. The utility was created by a team of researchers from Temple University's Center for Security and Crime Science and developers from Azavea, the parent company of HunchLab. Free and available to all uses.
crimelinkage: Statistical Methods for Crime Series Linkage DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions, Inc The crimelinkage package is a set of tools to help crime analysts and researchers with tasks related to crime linkage. This package specifically includes methods for criminal case linkage, crime series identification and clustering, and suspect identification. Free and available to all users.
CrimeStat Ned Lavine & Associates CrimeStat is a spatial statistical program used to analyze the locations of crime incidents and identify hot spots. This program includes features to identify and analyze hot spots, plot crime incidents on a map, view crime concentrations over a large area, track offender behavior over time, estimate a serial offender's residence, and study routes for high-speed chases.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
ACS Alchemist Azavea

Center for Security and Crime Science at Temple University
ACS Alchemist is an open source tool that enables the extraction of up to 100 variables from the American Community Survey. The data is extracted directly into a format convenient for display on maps or for use in advanced spatial analysis and modeling.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
Near-Repeat Calculator Temple University Near-Repeat Calculator, which originates with the discovery of the near-repeat phenomenon in burglary patterns, calculates the risk of near repeat events in crime data. The near-repeat phenomenon states that if a location is the target of a crime, such as burglary, then homes within a relatively short distance have an increased chance of being burgled for a limited period of time.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
SPIDER Crime Series Analysis Software South Carolina Research Authority

Eastern Kentucky University
SPIDER is a spatial statistics program for the tactical crime analysis of linked crime incident locations. The program is Windows-based and interfaces with most desktop GIS programs. The purpose is to provide spatial and temporal analysis support to law enforcement agencies investigating a series of linked crimes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
Python Spatial Analysis Library (pysal) GeoDa Center, Arizona State University PySAL is an open source, cross-platform library of spatial analysis functions written in Python. It is intended to support the development of high-level applications for spatial analysis.

Available for Windows, Mac and Unix operating systems.
Free and available to all users.
OpenGeoDa GeoDa Center, Arizona State University OpenGeoDa is a collection of software tools designed to implement techniques for exploratory spatial data analysis on lattice data. It is intended to provide a user-friendly and graphical interface to methods of descriptive spatial data analysis, such as autocorrelation statistics and indicators of spatial outliers.

Available for Windows, Mac and Unix operating systems.
Free and available to all users.
GeoDaSpace GeoDa Center, Arizona State University GeoDaSpace performs advanced spatial modeling of crimes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
GeoDaNet GeoDa Center, Arizona State University GeoDaNet is software that performs spatial analysis of crimes on street networks. Read the GeoDaNet manual.

Available for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Free and available to all users.
Missing Persons
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) National Forensic Science Technology Center

Occupational Research Associates
NamUs is an online, national centralized repository and resource center for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. NamUs can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public from all over the country in hopes of resolving these cases. Free, but some sections are available only to public safety personnel.
Date Created: March 3, 2020