Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crime Scene Visualization: Is the SLR Camera Headed for the Trash Heap?

Photo: Panoscan

In an effort to better understand location relationships on a micro-scale, some police departments have started using 360-degree, high resolution camera systems that can record a panoramic view of a crime scene.  Associated post processing software can then provide measurements of the scene that are accurate to within fractions of an inch.  Recently, the New York Times obtained representative footage from that city's police department and posted it on line.  Go here to viewWarning: As noted by the disclaimer at this site, do not click on blacked out scenes if you are faint of heart.

Comment: At this scale, geospatial technology is about precise positional relationships and measurement.  Clearly, from that standpoint, the system put in place by New York City will enhance both the investigation and prosecution phases of a criminal determination.  But, as the cliche goes: "You ain't seen nothing yet".

While some departments have already been using LiDAR to produce precise measurement products similar to what is possible through the camera approach used by New York City, the new kid on the block is flash LiDAR.  Like a camera, flash LiDAR "snap-shots" instantaneously capture highly precise measurements across the LiDAR camera’s entire field of view.  From that snap-shot, an exact 3D rendering of space can be recreated for visual analysis and modeling.  Consequently, in the years ahead, we very well may see the SLR camera disappear from crime scene visualization efforts the same way film disappeared from digital cameras.

1 comment:

  1. I read this article in the NY Times, the pictures were very surreal. Technology continues to impress me.