North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers are using a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to adapt the process used in building video games to help criminal investigators solve real-world crimes. The researchers say their work will lay the foundation for multi-agency collaboration in crime scene investigations (CSI) by creating a new cyberinfrastructure. The virtual environment the researchers create will provide data resources, simulation tools, expert access, and unique collaboration capabilities.
"The problem is that while there have been major advancements in the field of forensic science technology, how investigative teams come together to collaborate has not changed over the years," says NCSU professor Mitzi Montoya. "Current methods of CSI can be greatly enhanced with the application of the right cyberinfrastructure tools."
The research team is developing the interdisciplinary, cyber-enabled crime reconstruction through innovative methodology and engagement (IC-CRIME) platform, which will use the latest three-dimensional laser-scanning technologies to virtually reconstruct and preserve crime scenes, using a video game engine to re-create the scene. The laser scanners will allow investigators to accurately record room and object dimensions and the placement of every piece of evidence at a crime scene.
IC-CRIME data can be combined with high-resolution digital photographs and other evidence to create a comprehensive, permanent data record, as well as give forensic specialists located in other parts of the country access to the crime scene.
From North Carolina State University
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