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International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 551–561 | Cite as

Validation and evaluation of measuring methods for the 3D documentation of external injuries in the field of forensic medicine

  • Ursula Buck
  • Kirsten Buße
  • Lorenzo Campana
  • Christian Schyma
Original Article

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) measurement techniques are gaining importance in many areas. The latest developments brought more cost-effective, user-friendly, and faster technologies onto the market. Which 3D techniques are suitable in the field of forensic medicine and what are their advantages and disadvantages? This wide-ranging study evaluated and validated various 3D measurement techniques for the forensic requirements. High-tech methods as well as low-budget systems have been tested and compared in terms of accuracy, ease of use, expenditure of time, mobility, cost, necessary knowhow, and their limitations. Within this study, various commercial measuring systems of the different techniques were tested. Based on the first results, one measuring system was selected for each technique, which appeared to be the most suitable for the forensic application or is already established in forensic medicine. A body of a deceased, a face and an injury of a living person, and a shoe sole were recorded by 11 people with different professions and previous knowledge using the selected systems. The results were assessed and the personal experiences were evaluated using a questionnaire. In addition, precision investigations were carried out using test objects. The study shows that the hand-held scanner and photogrammetry are very suitable for the 3D documentation of forensic medical findings. Their moderate acquisition costs and easy operation could lead to more frequent application in forensic medicine in the future. For special applications, the stripe-light scanner still has its justification due to its high precision, the flexible application area, and the high reliability. The results show that, thanks to the technological advances, the 3D measurement technology will have more and more impact on the routine of the forensic medical examination.

Keywords

Forensic sciences Patterned injuries 3D documentation Photogrammetry Surface scanning 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Nicole Schwendener, Julia Brünig, Jeremias Klaus, André Lüthi, Gerhard Reichen, Daniel Leuenberger, Thomas Stöckli, and Michal Neukamp for testing the different methods and filling out the evaluation form.

The people behind the faces in Figs. 1 and 6 explicitly declared their consent for showing their undisguised faces within this publication. The author would like to thank them too.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Buck
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kirsten Buße
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Campana
    • 1
    • 3
  • Christian Schyma
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forensic MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Canton Police Bern, Accident serviceBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.University Center of Legal Medicine Lausanne-GenevaLausanne 25Switzerland

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