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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.

Technical Assistance. If you experience issues with the tools listed on this page, use the contact information on the developer's site for assistance. 

Software and Online Tools
TitleTopicDeveloperDescriptionAvailability and Cost
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)Forensic Laboratory Operations


Funded under award 15PNIJ-21-GK-02192-MUMU

FMEA risk management tool that identifies and quantifies the influence of failures or potential failures in processes or activities.Free and open to all
geoFORForensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death Investigation

Clemson University

Funded under NIJ award 2020-DQ-BX-0025

GeoFOR is a crowdsourced forensic taphonomy database that seeks to address current gaps in the field related to postmortem interval estimation by adhering to the Standard for Taphonomic Observations in Support of the Postmortem Interval.Access to geoFOR is free but requires approval by the developer.
NPS DiscoverySeized Drugs/ToxicologyFredric Rieders Family renaissance Foundation, the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education

Funded under NIJ awards 2020-DQ-BX-0007 and 15PNIJ-22-GG-04434-MUMU
NPS Discovery program is an open-access drug early warning system (EWS) operating in the United States.Access to NPS Discovery is free. 
GNPS Public Spectral Library, Drugs of AbuseSeized Drugs/ToxicologyUniversity of Wisconsin, Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking 

Funded under NIJ award 15PNIJ-21-GG-04171-COAP.
GNPS is a web-based mass spectrometry ecosystem that aims to be an open-access knowledge base for community-wide organization and sharing of raw, processed, or annotated fragmentation mass spectrometry data (MS/MS). GNPS aids in identification and discovery throughout the entire life cycle of data; from initial data acquisition/analysis to post publication.Use is free but registration is required. Read a quick start guide.
CAPRAD: Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database SystemCommunications of Public SafetyCommunications Technology Center of ExcellenceCAPRAD 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.
DFORC2Digital ForensicsThe RAND CorporationDFORC2 is a cloud-based digital forensics platform, developed at the RAND Corporation and backed by Autopsy and The Sleuth Kit. This repository is used to deploy the DFORC2 backend to AWS with Kubernetes.Files available via GitHub
Device ForensicsDigital ForensicsGrier ForensicsGrier Forensics developed an imaging solution that enables analysts to rapidly collect, transmit and analyze digital files operationally in the field. Contact Grief Forensics
FileTSAR+Digital Forensics

Purdue University

Funded under award 2020-DQ-BX-0008

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)Digital ForensicsNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyThe 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™Digital ForensicsAIS, 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.Free and open to all users.
Burning Item DatabaseFire and Arson InvestigationDepartment 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 DatabaseFire and Arson InvestigationDepartment 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 DatabaseFire and Arson InvestigationNational Center for Forensic Science, University of Central FloridaThe 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 DatabaseFire and Arson InvestigationNational 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 DatabaseFire and Arson InvestigationNational 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.
skater: SNP-based Kinship Analysis Testing and Evaluation: miscellaneous R data analysis utilities
Access on github
Forensic Biology/DNAUniversity of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort WorthThe skater package provides a collection of analysis and utility functions for SNP-based kinship analysis, testing, and evaluation as an R package. Functions in the package include tools for working with pedigree data, performing relationship degree inference, assessing classification accuracy, and summarizing IBD segment data.Free and open to all users.
Sexual Assault Lubricant DatabaseForensic Biology/DNANational 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)Forensic Biology/DNAYale UniversityFROG-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.
AutoDimerForensic Biology/DNANational Institute of Standards and TechnologyAutoDimer 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_QAForensic Biology/DNANational Institute of Standards and TechnologyMultiplex 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 ProfilesForensic Biology/DNANational Institute of Standards and Technology and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's OfficemixSTR 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.
Virtual Mixture MakerForensic Biology/DNANational Institute of Standards and TechnologyVirtual 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.
KidStatsForensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death InvestigationUniversity of Nevada, Reno

Funded under NIJ award 2015-DN-BX-K409
KidStats uses the newly developed Mixed Cumulative Probit to estimate age from diaphyseal dimensions, epiphyseal fusion, and dental development. It is currently available to use with a United States reference population, however seven additional countries will be incorporated.KidStats is available on GitHub.
Subadult Virtual Anthropology DatabaseForensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death InvestigationUniversity of Nevada, Reno

Funded under NIJ award 2015-DN-BX-K409
The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD) is housed at the University of Nevada, Reno. The database is comprised of computed tomography images and radiographs of individuals between birth and 20 years of age as well as all the derivatives, including diaphyseal dimensions, dental development, epiphyseal fusion, vertebral neural canal dimensions, and segmented surfaces.Data is freely available at the SVAD Zenodo Community.
New Mexico Decedent Image DatabaseForensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death InvestigationUniversity of New MexicoDataset includes whole body CT scans of over 15,000 New Mexicans who died between 2010-2017. Each individual is represented by approximately 10,000 images. CTs can be viewed using any DICOM viewer, and include normal and thin slice reconstructions for bone, lung, and brain. 3D reconstructions are possible with this data, depending on what viewer you use. Metadata includes almost 60 variables about the individuals’ demography, life and death. These data are accessible for research separately from the CT scans. Free but access is restricted.
3D-ID: Geometric Morphometric Classification of Crania for Forensic ScientistsForensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death InvestigationFlorida 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.
VEMOS (Visual Explorer for Metrics of Similarity)Forensic Impression and Pattern Evidence

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Funded through interagency agreement DJO-NIJ-17-RO-0202 between NIJ and NIST.

VEMOS (Visual Explorer for Metrics of Similarity) is a Python package that provides a graphical user interface for exploring and evaluating distance metrics.Free
Workforce CalculatorForensic Laboratory OperationsForensic Technology Center of ExcellenceThe workforce calculator permits laboratories to identify the personnel required to support a given level of casework within each area of investigation and the associated investment in capital equipment to support that level of activity.Free and open to all users.
Ballistics Toolmark Research DatabaseForensic ToolmarksNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyThis 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.
Trace Evidence Collection Mobile AppForensic ToolmarksForensic Technology Center of ExcellenceThe Trace Evidence Collection App is a mobile app companion to the Trace Materials Crime Scene Investigation Guide developed by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science. The mobile app enables the user to access, search, and reference the guide's contents at any time and in any location.Free and open to all users.
Measuring Outcomes for Survivors of Human TraffickingHuman TraffickingRTI InternationalMany 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.
368+ Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law EnforcementLaw Enforcement InvestigationCenter of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, University of California, IrvineOne 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.
crimelinkage: Statistical Methods for Crime Series LinkageMapping and AnalysisDigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions, IncThe 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.
CrimeStatMapping and AnalysisNed Lavine & AssociatesCrimeStat 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 the behavior over time of those convicted of a crime, estimate the residence of an individual committing serial offenses, and study routes for high-speed chases.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
ACS AlchemistMapping and AnalysisAzavea

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.
SPIDER Crime Series Analysis SoftwareMapping and AnalysisSouth 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)Mapping and AnalysisGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityPySAL 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.
GeoDaMapping and AnalysisGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityGeoDa 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.
GeoDaSpaceMapping and AnalysisGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityGeoDaSpace performs advanced spatial modeling of crimes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.
Mass Shooter DatabaseMass ShootingsThe Violence Project, Hamline University
Grant 2018-75-cx-0023
A comprehensive database of mass public shooters from 1966 to today coded on over 100 life history variables, including mental health history, trauma, interest in past shootings, and situational triggers.Free and available to all users.
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)Missing and Unidentified PersonsNational 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.
NIST/NIJ DART-MS Data Interpretation ToolSeized Drugs/ToxicologyNational Institute of Standards and Technology, National Institute of JusticeThe NIST/NIJ DART-MS Data Interpretation Tool (DIT) is a freely available and open-source software tool developed to support the interpretation of in-source collision induced dissociation (is-CID) DART-MS data. The NIST/NIJ DART-MS DIT can be used to view reference mass spectra from DART-MS spectral libraries, search query DART-MS mass spectra of mixtures against reference libraries, using the Inverted Library Search Algorithm, and generate printable reports from search results. Several of the features, including the formatting of generated reports, were iteratively designed with input from local, state, and federal forensic practitioners, ensuring that the program is intuitive and usable for the expected users.Free, open source
Sexual Assault Kit Best Practice Mobile AppSexual Assault Investigation

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Funded under NIJ award 2016-MU-BX-K110

A mobile friendly version of the report National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach. The App allows users to view the report on a mobile device, such as a smart phone, for easy recall of the report’s content. Additionally, the app allows the user to bookmark specific pages of the guide for easier future recall, as well as share specific pages of the guide.Free
American Terrorism Study Court Record Repository (ATS CoRR)Terrorism

Terrorism Research Center, University of Arkansas

Funded under NIJ award 2018-ZA-CX-0003

This portal contains documents and data from closed terrorism and terrorism-related federal court cases.Free, but requires login credentials. Request access at [email protected]
Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States - PIRUSTerrorism

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, University of Maryland

Funded under NIJ award 2019-ZA-CX-0004

The Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) dataset contains deidentified individual-level information on the backgrounds, attributes, and radicalization processes of over 2,200 violent and non-violent extremists who adhere to far right, far left, Islamist, or single issue ideologies in the United States covering 1948-2018.Free and available to all users.
Date Created: November 12, 2021