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Crime Scene Documentation: Weighing the Merits of Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning

NCJ Number
304069
Date Published
February 2022
Annotation

National Institute of Justice-supported researchers at the University of Tennessee performed a cost-benefit analysis of the three most widely used methods of crime scene documentation to determine the value of three-dimensional laser scanners compared to traditional approaches.

Abstract

Reliable documentation of evidence generally begins at the crime scene. Historically, this documentation has occurred through only a few means: photography, hand drawn sketches, and two-dimensional diagrams created using surveying equipment and mapping software. Three-dimensional laser scanning, a type of geospatial technology, has the potential to become a powerful tool in the crime scene documentation tool kit. National Institute of Justice-supported researchers at the University of Tennessee performed a cost-benefit analysis of the three most widely used methods of crime scene documentation to determine the value of three-dimensional laser scanners compared to traditional approaches. The research indicated that three-dimensional videos were the preferred documentation and photographs were second. It also found that two-dimensional diagrams and photos yielded the highest average accuracies.

Date Published: February 1, 2022