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Low-cost crime scene mapping: reviewing emerging freeware, low-cost methods of 3D mapping and applying them to crime scene investigation and forensic evidence

Colwill, Simon (2016) Low-cost crime scene mapping: reviewing emerging freeware, low-cost methods of 3D mapping and applying them to crime scene investigation and forensic evidence. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Within the realm of 3D mapping, three technologies dominate; Laser, which excels at long range measurements with relatively high accuracy; Structured light systems, which excel at short range measurements at very high accuracy; and Photogrammetry, which uses only photographs, and can vary heavily with accuracy. Forensic science often utilises laser technology in a surveying role, however the other two are more specialised and used far less often. A barrier to greater use of 3D scanning and recreation is the generally large cost of the devices, some costing more than $100,000.

Microsoft Kinect brought an infrared camera to the market as part of a gaming console, the Xbox. This camera functions as a mid-range structured light camera, and modified to map and measure a 3D environment. Kinect sensors are low-cost alternatives, and because of their higher accessibility, development of this technology is faster. Additionally, the development of more sophisticated software, and computational power has meant that photogrammetry has also become far more accessible, requiring only a moderate to high quality digital camera, and the accompanying program. These low-cost alternatives may prove to be invaluable for Police departments to attain greater evidence recovery in times of world-wide budget restrictions.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor: Chapman, Brendan and Speers, James
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35143
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