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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

ACCURACY OF MOBILE DEVICE 3D SCANNING APPLICATIONS WHEN MAPPING HUMAN REMAINS IN SIUMLATED CLANDESTINE GRAVES**

Abstract

When assessing human remains upon discovery of a clandestine grave it is important to have a clear and accurate understanding of the spatial context of the scene or site. Furthermore, recording of the remains and their position must be done in a timely manner. Current mapping techniques involve time consuming manual mapping techniques, and expensive LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) methods. New advances in technology have seemingly offered an alternative to current methods by the introduction of mobile device 3D scanning applications. However, if the use of these applications is to be adopted in a professional context, the accuracy of such applications must be known to a stateable degree of confidence. Context is important when analyzing human remains in a forensic setting therefore mapping of the scene is required. Conventional mapping methods are time consuming and leave room for human error. High-tech LiDAR methods are expensive and often require a certain degree of expertise to operate confidently. The option of a quick, easy, accurate, and inexpensive method to record the context of a forensic scene may offer an additional tool to agencies that previously had not the expertise or funds to support accurate documentation. Identification of human remains relies largely on quantitative and qualitative data from the remains themselves, but the context in which the remains are found can provide more insight as to the identity of the decedent. This study tests 1) the accuracy and consistency of measurements taken with three of these applications against those taken with conventional methods, 2) ideal conditions (lighting, distance from target area to be scanned, and weather), and 3) whether there a significant reduction of time spent mapping a scene by the use of mobile device-based 3D scanning applications when compared to conventional methods.

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