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New 3D Crime Scene Mapping Tool Turns Incident Scenes into Virtual 3D Models

Newswise — When officers arrive at a crime or crash scene, they have to spend a lot of time looking for evidence, processing it, taking photos of it, and documenting.

To help make this process more efficient, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has teamed up with the Israeli Police to invest in a new tool. The tool, called 3D-Hawk, can turn a crash or crime scene into an interactive 3D model within minutes, based on high-definition (HD) video footage. This helps the investigation move from an incident scene to the police station for in-depth analysis, so normal activities can resume. Roads could be cleared sooner, evidence documented more quickly, and investigators could have an exact replica of the scene to build a case and verify witness testimony.

Introducing 3D-Hawk

3D-Hawk, an innovative technology, creates 3D models by using standard HD video as a sole source of data. The models recreate, in detail, crash and crime scenes, thus enabling investigators to do their work at any time, at any place, and on any device.

Work on the 3D-Hawk started in June 2015 after the Israeli police raised the need of such technology during a meeting with S&T. As part of a bilateral agreement with the government of Israel, S&T engaged in joint research and development efforts that are advantageous to both parties.

“Israel is one of our strongest allies, and they have quite a bit of experience in many of the same first responder challenges and issues we deal with in our country,” said Milt Nenneman, S&T First Responder Program Manager, who oversees the 3D-Hawk project.

A product of the Israeli company B-Design3D, the tool consists of an HD video camera, a dedicated Site Survey Set for shooting from above, a short handle for up-close shots, a smart phone for showing what the camera is capturing, and a laptop with software for turning video into 3D models.

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