technology and industry



Tracking down the culprits

Actual methods of 3 dimensional surveying and documentation have become usual in the past years in forensic medicine and in police especially in Switzerland and it is getting increasingly important. Digital photogrammetry, fringe projection and laser scanning are used for obtaining evidence to obtain digital storage. As a result 3 D data records are received as basis for following forensic clarifications and reconstructions.

Forensic medicine provides clinical states of living and deceased humans for the administration of justice. It gives scientific and comprehensible documentation, analysis and explanation. The forensic molecular genetics (DNA) and the forensic chemistry/toxicology have taken the step towards application of high technology methods already.

In the centre for forensic imaging and virtopsy® ( at the university of Bern a team of forensic scientists, radiologists, geodesists and computer specialists is doing studies on the documentation of forensic states by means of high technology. They are doing researches on analysis using virtual autopsy with minimally invasive techniques. To receive a documentation of the human body inside imaging methods like computer tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are installed. For scanning the human body´s surface with all external exposure and for digitizing possible criminal tools the high precision optical 3D surface scanning is used.

By means of the collected digital 3D data of the inside body and the surface forensic reconstruction can be performed. In case of a killed person it is investigated if the suspected tool can cause the injury or which position could have been to shoot the person. For the reconstruction of traffic accidents the geometry of the crash impact is very essential. Surveyors of the police of Bern do measurements of the places of accidents and sites of crime by means of photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning. Taking all collected data together leads to a 3D reconstruction with scale of accidents and crimes. Digitizing of body´s surface and 3D reconstruction of accidents and crimes have grown to an important research area at the institute in Bern and still will be further developed. Using modern methods like surface and laser scanning is giving more possibilities to the forensic expert. This technique helps even for new tasks like facial recognition, comparison of traces and analysis of blood trials.

Beyond the traditional tasks of geomatics like land management, engineering surveying or geo information systems, new, interesting and exciting tasks in forensics can be found by geomatics engineers.

Climate & environment

What happens where while it is getting warmer? How does our environment change? Where does sea level rise come from? Are the continents drying out? Are the continental plates still sliding on top of each other as they did in the past? - Geomatics engineers measure changes and answer questions.

Real estate

Everyone has seen geomatics engineers in the field. Using their instruments they sometimes work at the roadside. Car drivers slow down, thinking of speed control. Children stop by craving for the colorful security jackets. - But what are the engineers really doing there?

Technology & industry

How is it possible that we don't miss each other when boring a tunnel from two sides? Why is the shelf at home always crooked but the 300 m high building bolt upright? - Because geomatics engineers take care of it.

Navigation & Mobility

In the past, the front passenger said: "There should be a right turn soon." Today, this is not enough anymore. Dead-ends, new roundabouts, nearby points of interest – a modern navigation system seems to know everything. - If it does, this is just due to geomatics…