Forensic Digital Photography and GPS with Google Earth

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This presentation provides information on how we use forensic digital photography with embedded GPS data and Google Earth.

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Forensic Digital Photography and GPS with Google Earth

  1. 1. Integrating GPS Datainto Digital Photographsan Advanced Investigative and Demonstrative Technique<br />Dean A. Beers, CLI<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />(970) 691-0813 / (970) 372-4717 fax<br />beersda@Forensic-Investigators.com<br />
  2. 2. What is this?<br />Digital photography has generated many new ideas and possibilities with forensic photography. One is automatic embedding of GPS data into photos.<br />The higher-end manufacturers are building this capability into the camera, with limitations. They are also selling GPS devices to use with cameras, also with limitations.<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  3. 3. What is this?<br />All standard GPS devices, and some vehicle and phone GPS devices, have the ability to generate and record route data, or tracking points. The data gathered varies – but generally always includes date, time, latitude, and longitude.<br />More advanced devices also include elevation and direction of travel. It is these more advanced features that are not in the camera manufacturers’ equipment.<br />We have created a unique system.<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  4. 4. What is needed?<br />A reliable digital camera<br />(does not have to be a high-end model)<br />An advanced GPS unit<br />(specifically with the ability to obtain and record elevation)<br />Software that will download, read, and embed the data into the image (photograph) file<br />(this is the EXIF file – EXchange Information Format)<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  5. 5. What is the process?<br /> The camera and GPS unit must be set to the same time (within 30 seconds – as exact as possible. Remember to change your camera and GPS unit when the time changes)<br /> Turn on the GPS unit and wait for the satellite tracking and locking to complete<br /> Turn on the ‘Tracking’ feature (varies by model)<br /> Wear the GPS unit (belt or neck lanyard)<br /> Walk around and take photos<br />That is the EASY part!...<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  6. 6. What next?<br />…Now for the HARD part!<br />After the photography is completed (assuming you had a location and weather suitable to GPS tracking), it is time to download the photos and data and begin the embedding process.<br /> Save all of the photographs (using the protocol I review in my Forensic Photography presentation)<br /> Save the GPS data (using a similar protocol)<br /> Being familiar with the GPS embedding software, embed the data into the EXIF file and create a Google Earth file.<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  7. 7. What will I see?<br />You will have the following files and folders:<br /> Photographs (original and renamed GPS embedded)<br /> GPS log file (original and renamed)<br /> Google Earth file (should be named by the file when created) <br /> Photo index file – a contact sheet<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  8. 8. What will I see?Embedded Photographs<br />Date and Time from camera /EXIF<br />Date and Time from GPS<br />Latitude and Longitude<br />Elevation<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  9. 9. What will I see?GPS Log File<br />The times are Greenwich Mean Times – in this example six hours must be subtracted<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  10. 10. Sample EXIF file with GPS<br />Three sections: Camera Data, GPS Software, and GPS Data – synched data for accuracy<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  11. 11. What will I see on Google Earth?<br />The next slide has an automatically starting video that will reveal how this highly demonstrative tool works. Here is what you will see:<br />Our agency will provide a single file with all of the data embedded needed for Google Earth, except the photos.<br />You must have Google Earth installed on your computer.<br />The Google Earth file will be on a CD, with the associated photos in a folder.<br />You must use the Google Earth file from the CD to interact with the associated photos (or copy the CD to a folder on your computer exactly as on the CD).<br />Simply click on the Google Earth file and the program will open and load the data and link to the photos automatically.<br />Zoom in and zoom out as needed. Click on a cluster of photos to reveal all nearby photos. Click on an individual photo to view that photo. It will be zoomed in about 300% - use the right-side and bottom slide bars with your mouse to navigate the photo.<br />The photo names appear on Google Earth and can be viewed from the folder of photos on the CD in standard viewing format.<br />Call us with any questions or guidance – we are glad to help!<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  12. 12. What will I see on Google Earth?(automatic 4min 40sec video – no sound)<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  13. 13. Your feed back is needed<br />Email beersda@Forensic-Investigators.com and let us know what level of interest there would be if we were to include this as a bonus chapter in our upcoming more detailed and concise 300-400 page Legal Investigators book!<br />Bonus chapters on a variety of investigative topics<br />Concise details on the concepts from our experience filled articles and presentations<br />Do you want a dynamic and experienced investigative speaker at your next conference? Skip Tracing, Forensic Photography, GPS and Photography, Autopsy Reports for the Investigator, Death Investigations, and more are ready! Contact us TODAY!<br />Forensic Investigators of Colorado, LLC<br />Personal Injury, Negligence & Death / Criminal Defense<br />www.Forensic-Investigators.com (970) 691-0813<br />
  14. 14. Thank You!<br />

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