Crimes Scenes in 360°


Here’s a New York Times online news feature from a while back about how the New York Police Department uses Panoscan cameras to take 360 degree images of crime scenes to streamline the processing and gathering of evidence as well as being presented as photographic evidence in court.

These images are courtesy of the New York Police Department and this type of imagery, whether still or interactive is not usually on display for public consumption. There’s also some great audio to complement the set of panos detailing the scenes and why panoramic images are used. The images are graphically chilling. Unfortunately (but maybe fortunate for some) there’s no zoom or fullscreen capability in these panos and the stages are fairly small. Still, it’s rather confronting to see this kind of detail, especially as interactive panoramas and they do enough to immerse the viewer in the overall scene and offer a wealth of detail not usually seen in still photographs of crime scenes in news media. Obviously if the NYPD is using panoscans their originals are going to be super high resolute but still gives us a taste of the overall crime scene

So, we at the Pano Journalist are wondering.. how widespread is the use of 360° imagery within police departments around the world? Is it is common practice or have the NYPD set the ball rolling?We’ve found a site here that markets camera and software kits for crime scene pano work and objectVR. We’re a bit skeptical about the one-shot setup though…Feel free to offer any further comment on the topic.