Crime scene investigation includes everything that happens to document, locate, preserve and collect bits of evidence, whether charred by fire or hidden from sight. NIST scientists are developing tools, techniques and standards to help forensic investigators study arson cases, compare bullets and casings, and assess many other items that may be found at a crime scene.
- Read about an industry collaboration that could lead to improved 3D scanning of crime scenes.
- Experts from NIST and the University of Delaware found a lack of consistency in commercially available rulers often used as reference scales in forensic photography. Read their study. (link opens a pdf)
- NIST studies building disasters and failures including fires that result in a significant number of deaths. See our Fire Forensics website for study reports.
- Preserving biological evidence: NIST and the National Institute of Justice convened a technical working group to recommend best practices for evidence handlers. Their report is available online.
- Fire Disaster and Failure studies
- Dimensional Review of Scales for Forensic Photography (opens a pdf)
- The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook: Best Practices for Evidence Handlers
- Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach
Data and Standards
- Find NIST Standard Reference Materials for crime scene investigations on the Standard Reference Materials website.
- Find NIST Standard Reference Materials for fire research on the Standard Reference Materials website.
- Fire on the Web is a collection of resources from the Fire Research Division at NIST. Included are fire related software packages, experimental fire data and mpeg/quick time movies of fire tests.
- NIST Special Database 4: 8-Bit Gray Scale Images of Fingerprint Image Groups
- NIST Special Database 24: Digital Video of Live-Scan Fingerprint Data
- NIST Special Database 30: Dual Resolution Images from Paired Fingerprint Cards
- NIST Special Database 27: Fingerprint Minutiae from Latent and Matching Tenprint Images
- NIST Special Database 9: Mated Fingerprint Card Pairs (Volumes 1-5)
- NIST Special Database 10: Supplemental Fingerprint Card Data for NIST Special Database 9
- NIST Special Database 14: Mated Fingerprint Card Pairs 2
- NIST Special Database 28: National Software Reference Library
- NIST Special Database 29: Plain and Rolled Images from Paired Fingerprint Cards
- Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport
- Fire Dynamics Simulator and Smokeview
- The National Institute of Justice has funded the development of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research. Find them on the NIJ website.
Scientific Staff Members