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GPS Photo-Mapping in Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 96,98,101
Kevin Corbley
Date Published
January 2008
5 pages
This article discusses the use of GPS photo-mapping in law enforcement using a National Park Service murder investigation at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA).
GPS photo mapping is an excellent tool for investigators to use in spatially piecing together clues that are spread out over relatively large areas. Additionally, the use of GPS photo-mapping technology could emerge as a very useful tool for law enforcement officials who need to preserve a crime scene. Certain types of crime scenes, such as assaults or rapes or even high-speed chases, often span large areas and leave behind a trail of evidence such as weapons, blood, or bullet casings that can be mapped and analyzed using this technology. The Park Service operates a sophisticated GPS at the Glen Canyon NRA headquarters in Page, AZ, and uses the system for crime scene analysis and mapping. Although typically called into service for more traditional applications, the Glen Canyon NRA was one of the first to successfully use crime scene mapping and analysis in court. From line-of-site analysis to the tracking of kidnappers and cop killers, the technology has been used extensively to bring criminals to justice and help investigators solve crimes and mysteries alike. It contains numerous data layers including satellite imagery and aerial photography, covering several NPS properties in southern Utah and northern Arizona.