Forensic Mapping From the drawing board to the witness stand.

3-Dimensional mapping tools are not a new technology. In fact, many other professions, outside of forensic science, have been utilizing similar technology for decades.

Being able to utilize a 3-D scanner in the classroom and during mock scenes will help students feel more comfortable in their profession.

The Washburn Forensic Investigation Program has two different scanning machines. They both work very similarly, and produce a similar product.

Having access to different generations of technology allows the user the ability to be better prepared for whatever they might encounter in the field as well as builds a robust understanding of where technology has been and where it is headed.

For centuries, crime scene investigators have used the most basic tools (i.e. pencil and graph paper) to capture crime scenes as they investigated them. This method takes a lot of time to make sure and get each measurement on all axis of the scene, let alone get measurements to each important piece of evidence (which at any moment could get disrupted).

The utmost goal of any crime scene investigation is being able to recreate the crime scene, as it appeared, at the time of the investigation in another place and at another time.

As photography technology was evolving, the ability to capture crime scenes using photos was a pivotal movement in crime scene reconstruction. Until now...

Mapping a crime scene is no longer about having a tape measure and graph paper....

3-D rendering of scene using Cyclone360 mapping software

...it is about creating an immersive blend of technology and science to be able to recreate the scene as it was at the time of the investigation.

Using a 3-D scanner and mapping software can revolutionize the crime scene investigation world.

Point of view image captured by BLK360

No longer are, detectives, administrators, attorneys, juries, and judges presented with stone age sketches. NOW, they can get an almost lifelike experience of the crime scene.

Say goodbye to:

  • Sketches that are not to scale.
  • Sketches that are hand drawn with a ruler and pen.
  • Sketches that take hours of dedicated time to create on scene and in the office.
  • Sketches that are not appropriate for publishing to the case file because not every crime scene investigator is an artist!

Say Hello to:

  • 3-D immersive scene mapping tools.
  • To-scale drawings from any angle!
  • As-needed post-processing scene measurements (for those measurements that got lost in the hustle and bustle).
  • More accurate, more efficient, and easier to understand crime scene layout.
  • Reliable reconstructive analysis information for movements of individuals through the scene.

Reconstructive efforts on scene like bullet trajectory analysis and bloodstain impact spatter analysis can be more accurately reconstructed using the HDR imaging from the 3-D scanners.

The Washburn University Forensic Investigations Program offers a class that gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with 3-D scanners AND utilizing and getting comfortable with the mapping software.

Students will learn how to properly measure and sketch a scene by hand because learning the fundamentals of mapping is important to understanding the basic theory and method behind using a machine to map a scene.

C-10 ScanStation

Students will learn about the different types of scanning/mapping technology and software because there are a variety of options out there and not every agency uses the same resources. Students will get one-on-one experience with using the mapping software that compliments our equipment.


Lastly, students will learn the most effective ways that their final scene sketches can be utilized to assist with a case investigation.

For more information about the 3-D scanning course, contact:


Or visit our department webpage for more enlightening information about our department and our Forensic Investigations program!

Created By
Kimberly Gerhardt-Whiddon


Created with images by geralt - "police crime scene blue light" • 3844328 - "architecture blueprint floor plan" • Shutterbug75 - "camera aperture digital camera"