Preservation and Analysis of Three-Dimensional Footwear Evidence in Soils: The Application of Optical Laser Scanning
This chapter explores the application of optical laser scanning to the collection, preservation and analysis of footwear evidence in soils using examples from the archaeological record and from a series of experiments. Optical laser scanning provides a direct, non-invasive method of recording footwear evidence with sub-millimetre accuracy. It allows the original print to be re-visited at any time using a range of view angles and light illuminations at any time within an investigation. Although practical problems remain with the routine deployment of such equipment at a typical crime scene, the potential of such techniques to revolutionise the way in which three-dimensional footwear evidence is recorded is considerable. This point is illustrated using an example from the geo-archaeological record and via three experimental scenarios. The first of these experiments involved the use of series of barefoot impressions and the direct comparison of data obtained via optical laser scanning with that obtained from direct casting methods. The second and third experiments involved artificial crime scenes in which a range of footwear was used to leave a palimpsest of prints. Optical laser scans were used to interpret this evidence and to quantify wear patterns in order to link specific footwear to individual prints. These experiments are used within the chapter as a basis with which to review both the advantages and disadvantages of optical laser scanning. On the basis of this review we argue that the potential of such technology in a criminal context is clear given further technological developments to allow it operational deployment.
KeywordsColour Version Crime Scene Optical Laser Interferometric Image Human Footprint
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aldhouse-Green SHR, Whittle AWR, Allen JRL, Caseldine AE, Culver SJ, Day MH, Lundquist J and Upton D (1992). Prehistoric human footprints from the Severn Estuary at Uskmouth and Magor Pill, Gwent, Wales. Archaeology Cambrensis 141:14–55.Google Scholar
- Bodziak WJ (2000). Footwear impression evidence: detection, recovery and examination. CRC, Boca Raton, FL.Google Scholar
- Gonzalez-Gonzalez A, Lockle MG, Rojas CS, López-Espinoza J and Gonzalez (in press). Human Tracks from Quaternary tufa deposits, Cuatrocienegas, Mexico. Ichnos.Google Scholar
- Huddart D, Bennett MR, Gonzalez S and Velay X (in press). Documentation and preservation of Pleistocene human and animal footprints: an example from Toluquilla, Valsequillo Basin (Central Mexico). Ichnos.Google Scholar
- Hueske E (1991). Photographing and casting footwear/tiretrack impressions in snow. Journal of Forensic Identification 41:92–95.Google Scholar
- Leakey MD and Harris JM (1987). Laetoli: a Pliocene site in Northern Tanzania. Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Robbins LM (1985). Footprints: collection, analysis and interpretation. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL.Google Scholar
- Roberts G, Gonzalez S and Huddart D (1996). Intertidal Holocene footprints and their archaeological significance. Antiquity 70:647–51.Google Scholar
- Schallamach A (1968). Abrasion, fatigue and smearing of rubber. Journal of Polymer Science 12:281.Google Scholar
- Thali MJ, Braun M, Buck U, Aghayey E, Jackowski C, Vock P, Sonnenschein M and Dirnhofer R (2005). VIRTOPSY-scientific documentation, reconstruction and animation in forensics; individual and real 3D data based geo-metric approach including optical body/object surface and radiological CT/MRI scanning. Journal of Forensic Sciences 50:424–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar