U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Forensic Databases: Paint, Shoe Prints, and Beyond

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
5 pages
Publication Series
Based on the findings of a project funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), this article describes some lesser known forensic databases as well as the well-known CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) databases.
The Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) contains bullet and cartridge casings that have been retrieved from crime scenes and test-fires of guns found at a crime scene or on a suspect. Paint Data Query (PDQ) contains the chemical compositions of paint from most domestic and foreign car manufacturers and the majority of vehicles marketed in North America after 1973. The National Automotive Paint File contains more than 40,000 samples of automotive paint from manufacturers. The Glass Evidence Reference Database contains more than 700 glass samples from manufacturers, distributors, and vehicle junkyards. TreadMark is a commercial product that uses four parameters--pattern, size, damage, and wear--in order to identify individual outsole impressions. These are then compared with shoe-print data from suspects in custody and crime scenes. The SoleMate database contains information on over 12,000 sports, work, and casual shoes (manufacturer, date of market release, an image or offset print of the sole, and pictorial images of the uppers). TreadMate contains information on more than 5,000 vehicle tires and tire tread patterns. The Forensic Information System for Handwriting (FISH) merges Federal and Interpol databases of genuine and counterfeit identification documents. Other databases described are useful for the identification or matches of inks; drugs, including prescription drugs; ignitable liquids; and chemicals. Uses for CODIS (DNA matches) and IAFIS (fingerprint matches) are also described. Information is provided on how each of the forensic databases work and the organization that manages it. 1 note

Date Published: October 1, 2007