CSI The Hague

Digitize the crime scene: fiction becomes reality You can only investigate a crime scene once. If you forget to secure possible evidence, it will be gone forever. Wouldn't it be nice if we could preserve the crime scene digitally? So we could still investigate afterwards and train our professionals in virtual reality? In CSI The Hague the Netherlands Forensic Institute, high-tech companies and state-of-the-art knowledge institutes work together on the digital crime scene.

Digitize the crime scene: fiction becomes reality

Ronald Poelman contributes to this project with his research on interface with game engine.
Pieter Jonker contributes to this project with his research on 3D markerless tracking.

You can only investigate a crime scene once. If you forget to secure possible evidence, it will be gone forever. But the ability to investigate a crime scene is restricted by our senses. Evidence we cannot see, smell or feel is difficult or impossible to collect. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could preserve the crime scene digitally? It seems science fiction, but it is almost reality.

Crime scene investigation is on the eve of a technological revolution. To examine the possibilities, a consortium has been established in The Hague, consisting of a unique combination of the Netherlands Forensic Institute, a Dutch university, an academic hospital, high-tech companies and state-of-the-art knowledge institutes.

Within the project CSI The Hague, the best of forensic and technological companies in the Netherlands are combining different technologies to digitize and visualize the crime scene, using technologies that were developed outside the forensic field. In the near future, we will be able to feel, smell, hear, taste and observe in virtual reality all the evidence that was present at a crime scene.

This ‘freezing’ of the crime scene provides great opportunities for reconstruction and testing hypotheses or witness statements. But it will also be very useful for education, for training forensic researchers or for experimenting with new methods and techniques. In the virtual reality environment – the forensic field lab – we will also monitor and analyze human behaviour on a scientific basis at the crime scene for training purposes.

CSI The Hague will stimulate innovation into forensic investigation and help to solve crimes. The project is therefore of great interest to society.

Facts & figures

The project has a three-year duration. The total costs of the project amount to almost 5 million euros. The consortium, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the city of The Hague are financing the project.