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Aerial Photography: An Elevated Perspective

NCJ Number
Evidence Technology Magazine Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Dated: July-August 2007 Pages: 28-33
Matthew Langer; Mark Dunaski
Date Published
July 2007
6 pages
This article examines the potential benefits of aerial photography in providing investigators perspective at a scene that cannot otherwise be gained.
When documenting evidence and creating illustrations of a crime scene’s layout, photography has proven to be one of the best tools available to an investigator with a law enforcement agency of virtually any size. Certain scenes, such as large outdoor scenes and vehicle crash scenes, can prove problematic for traditional eye-level photography in demonstrating the overall essence of the incident and the conditions surrounding it. In these cases aerial photography can provide a superior perspective while providing facts in a more accurate and more easily understood manner than the usual verbal testimony. As a result, the disciplines of aerial photography and photogrammetry are proving to be valuable supplements to the crime scene investigator’s photography toolbox. Aerial photography adds a dimension of visual reference. This article briefly examines the use of aerial photography as a beneficial tool for crime scene investigators through the experiences of the Minnesota State Patrol, which uses its Aviation Section to take aerial scene photos while the evidence is still present at the scene.