Canadian-based MicroSurvey Software Inc. has teamed up with rugged hand held computer manufacturer Two Technologies, Inc.® to offer crime scene and motor vehicle crash forensic mappers a more efficient method for collecting evidence at accident and crime scenes. Incorporating the processing power of Two Technologies’ JETT®.ce hand held computer with the evidence collection and computer mapping capabilities of MicroSurvey’s Evidence Record 3.0 software, the MicroSurvey Tracker featuring MapScenes offers law enforcement officials a powerful new hand held tool to verify the quality of evidence collected for investigating a crash or crime scene.>
Interfacing with total station surveying equipment (an electronic distance measuring device), the MicroSurvey Tracker provides for real-time drawings of the scene that enables investigators to verify the quality of collected evidence. Evidence points and the lines defining the street, intersection, or room are drawn in “real-time” on the computer screen, allowing investigators to verify the quality of the evidence collected at the scene.
"The MicroSurvey Tracker has helped us speed up the mapping process and reduce the amount of time that we have a roadway closed," notes Walter W. Johnson, Police Officer/Accident Reconstructionist, Kansas City Police Department, Kansas City, Missouri. "It helps instill confidence in the forensic mapping system by letting the instrument operator see the map being built shot-by-shot in the field through real-time mapping in both 2-D and 3-D views. No more wondering if you shot everything that you needed or if everything turned out okay until you process the job at the office."
In the past, when relying entirely on a total station for onboard data collection of the different physical parameters of a scene, law enforcement forensic mappers would find that they had missed important elements after downloading information into their PC and had to return to the scene again to gather more information. With the MicroSurvey Tracker, data collected from the total station can be visually reviewed to ensure data accuracy and completeness.
"For example, in a collision scene, the Tracker can map out ditches, any edges of a road, and shoulders through line work," explains MicroSurvey MapScenes Product Manager Susan Bracchi. "The result is a diagram that looks exactly as it does on the road. Other hand held computers with data collection software typically show information in dots, which is not as visually comprehensive as the line work provided by the MicroSurvey Tracker."
"With the software we were using before, you would never know it if you shot it right. With the Tracker, we can draw the scene, see the drawing in its entirety and see if any points are missing. It has really streamlined our process,” explains Sergeant Paul Gonsalves, Santa Ana Traffic Division, Santa Ana, California. "The Tracker has allowed us to save man hours in our investigative process from actual scene mapping to recreating it on the computer through the drawing program. We use this technology because we know we'll go into court with all our i's dotted and our t's crossed. The equipment has allowed us to create accurate, professional drawings and the way the pieces come together - the facts draw the conclusion."
With the JETT.ce hand held computer serving as the data collection device, the MicroSurvey Tracker offers a backlight keypad that enables law enforcement officials to visually collect data at night. It also offers a 320 x 240 sunlight readable touch screen and a 48-key membrane keypad. The American made MicroSurvey Tracker comes standard with an RS-232 serial port, making it the perfect addition to any total station.
Featuring the powerful Windows® CE.NET Professional 4.2 operating system running on an Marvell® XScale® processor, the MicroSurvey Tracker has 64 MB of SDRAM and 128 MB of secure internal memory as a standard and supports a wide variety of removable peripheral devices, such as wireless LANs, modems, bar code readers, cameras and Bluetooth, making it an extremely useful tool in saving time and Increased productivity. The unit also comes standard with a NiMH rechargeable battery or six AA batteries with no adapter required.
"The MicroSurvey Tracker is the only true professional-level evidence collection device for law enforcement," notes Bracchi. "It offers the right capabilities at the right price, which is important to law enforcement agencies as their budgets are limited, requiring them to make the right long-term investment in technology."