Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crime scene measurements can be taken from a single image

Date:
December 2, 2009
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Researchers in Spain have developed a procedure to enable forensic police to extract metric data from crime scenes using just a single photograph. Their proposal makes it possible to reconstruct a crime scene in 3-D.

Two researchers from the University of Salamanca have developed a procedure to enable forensic police to extract metric data from crime scenes using just a single photograph. Their proposal, published this month in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, makes it possible to reconstruct a crime scene in 3D.

"We have studied an unprecedented and original line of research in the field of criminology and forensic engineering, which makes it possible to derive metric data from a single image," Diego González-Aguilera, co-author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Cartography and Soil Engineering at the University of Salamanca (in the University's Ávila offices), said.

González-Aguilera and his colleague Javier Gómez-Lahoz have recently published a study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, which offers "a novel approach for documenting, analysing and visualizing crime scenes."

The process starts by capturing an image that must include easily-identifiable details and at least three vanishing points (the convergence point of straight lines projected in one direction) as well as at least one distance in the scene. These data are used to extract the structural components or most important objects in the image "automatically and robustly."

The researchers also calibrate the camera to be able to determine both the internal (focal distance, main point and radial distortion) and external (lens turns and lens viewpoints) parameters.

As the structural features are geometrically related to the features of the scene and the camera itself, it is possible to take measurements and to analyse the dimensions of the scene based on distances, angles and surfaces.

This means that, at any time after having taken a photograph of a crime scene, forensic police could establish that a knife was 32cm away from the victim, or that there was an angle of 37 degrees between a trace of blood, a footstep and a bullet hole.

González-Aguilera says it is better to use a single image rather than several as it is often difficult to ensure that a range of photos overlaps well, and there are always parts of the scene or some features of it that cannot be correctly related to the rest.

This technique has been developed within the field of photogrammetry, a procedure used to determine the geometrical properties of an object based on photographic images. "Until now, this discipline required at least two images to be used in order to reconstruct a crime scene, but now we have broken that barrier."

Reconstructing a two-dimensional image in 3D

Another basic principle of photogrammetry and computational vision (another discipline also used in this study) is that it is impossible to reconstruct a three-dimensional crime scene based on a single image. However, the new technology also overcomes this limitation, as it makes it possible to introduce known "restrictions" into the scene, such as the presence of parallel or perpendicular planes, enabling these to be represented in 3D.

An IT tool written in VRML format (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is used in order to visualise a crime scene from any viewpoint in an interactive and three-dimensional way. VRML is a "flexible, scalable and easy-to-use" language, designed specifically for this task.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Diego González-Aguilera y Javier Gómez-Lahoz. Forensic Terrestrial Photogrammetry from a Single Image. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2009; 54 (6): 1376 DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01170.x

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Crime scene measurements can be taken from a single image." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201102338.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2009, December 2). Crime scene measurements can be taken from a single image. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201102338.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Crime scene measurements can be taken from a single image." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201102338.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins