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NIST Forensic Science — Pattern and Impression Evidence

Investigators look for fingerprints, bullets and casings, shoeprints, tool marks and tire tread tracks at a crime scene. These are examples of pattern and impression evidence produced when one object comes into contact with another object. This discipline also includes pattern analysis used to evaluate handwriting, typewriting and writing instruments. NIST researchers are working to develop standards, data, methods and tools that provide forensic science laboratories with fast and accurate methods to match pattern evidence from a crime scene to a suspect.


Here's a video that explains how NIST helps evidence examiners tie bullets and casings to a weapon used in a crime. Scroll further down to finds links to more of our work in this area.



Research Projects

Events and Workshops

Measurement Science and Standards in Forensic Handwriting Analysis Conference — June 4-5, 2013. An archived webcast and and meeting documents are available online.

NIST Publications

Data and Standards

Tools and Software