University of Salamanca researchers have developed a procedure that enables forensic investigators to extract metric data from a crime scene using only a single photograph and reconstruct it in three dimensions. “We have studied an unprecedented and original line of research in the field of criminology and forensic engineering, which makes it possible to derive metric data from a single image,” says Salamanca researcher Diego Gonzalez-Aguilera. The process starts by capturing an image that includes easily identifiable details, at least three vanishing points, and at least one distance in the scene. Data from these features are used to automatically extract the structural components and the most important objects in the image. As the structural features are geometrically related to the features of the scene and the camera, it is possible to take measurements and analyze the dimensions of the scene based on distances, surfaces, and angles. The system is based on photogrammetry technology, which makes it possible to create a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of a crime scene using a single image by allowing “restrictions” to be introduced into the scene, such as the presence of parallel or perpendicular lanes. A tool written in Virtual Reality Modeling Language is used to visualize a crime scene from any viewpoint to create an interactive 3D simulation.
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