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Development of a Computer-Assisted System for the Reconstruction of Fragmented Plate Glass and Other Surfaces Splintered by Violent Acts, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
15 pages
This report presents an overview of the National Institute of Justice pilot project on the development of a computer-assisted system for the reconstruction of a variety of shattered objects.
A difficult undertaking in the field of forensics has been the reconstruction of shattered or damaged objects. The U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice sponsored a pilot project in the experimentation for the reassembly of fragmented plate glass and other surfaces shattered by acts of violence. For this project, 627 fragmented pieces of a pane of glass from a crime scene were utilized. An attempt was made to develop a computer-assisted system that would be applicable to a variety of reconstruction tasks. This development component extends the rapid and current computer technologies to new forensic applications. The project developed a matrix of programs offering the ability to graphically manipulate geometrical shapes that are attached to an interactive database. Positive results were achieved in testing by ground-truth joins of pieces discovered in the computer graphics routine. The project developed a protocol for the reconstruction of a wide variety of shattered, demolished, or dismembered objects besides a pane of glass. From this project, it became clear that reconstructions of shattered objects are made possible or can be handled more efficiently by GIS-based computer systems. This report discusses the various protocols which were assessed during the development of a computer-aided system with the potential of a wide variety of reconstruction undertakings in both forensics and archaeology. Figures

Date Published: January 1, 2004