Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging

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It happens all too often: The vague images of a poor quality video from a surveillance camera splash across the screen in a darkened courtroom and the guilt or innocence of the defendant hinges on whether or not the jury can determine if he or she is really the person in those images. Interpretation and misinterpretation of information about imaging in general, and digital image manipulation in computers in particular, by expert witnesses on both sides, and by counsel who ask questions that are both confused and confusing, may or may not help the jury in reaching a decision. Clearly there is a need for a simple guide to digital imaging for law and forensic professionals.
Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging addresses that need. Written by the author of the best selling Image Processing Handbook, it shows you step-by-step how to use digital imaging to its best advantage. It explains by example when and why some procedures are appropriate and what they can be expected to reveal. While other books discuss computer programming to implement algorithms, this book shows in more simple terms just what the advantages and shortcomings of digital imaging are, and how computer image processing can be used to enhance the ability to access detail without compromising the truth of images.
Practitioners will learn how to testify about their procedures and results in simple, precise language. Counsel will discover appropriate avenues for questioning to bring forth such explanations, and how to challenge witnesses who may confuse or mislead juries with wrong information or opinions.

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Editorial Reviews

Police and trial lawyers are increasingly relying on imaging professionals such as the author (shown in an unprocessed digital mug-shot). He makes a case for forensic uses of digital imaging; explains processing and identification techniques; and discusses working with the legal system. Thirty color plates include such intriguing examples of the possibilities offered by digital technologies as comparing attempts to disguise a human face, altering color images (one application: comparing images of a check), and superimposing a boot sole photo onto a footprint image. Russ, who developed software to implement the algorithms presented here, formerly taught at North Carolina State U. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849309038
  • Publisher: CRC Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Digital Cameras and Forensic Imaging
Why go digital?
Uses of digital imagery
Film as a light sensor
Tonal and spatial resolution, and their consequences
Color response
Digital photography
Maintaining chain-of-control with digital images
Digital video
Taking good pictures
Presenting pictures in the courtroom
Processing Digital Images
Noise in digital images
Noise reduction methods
Median filtering
Processing color images
Nonrandom noise
Adjusting contrast, brightness and gamma
Adjusting color balance
Adjusting size (magnification)
Spatial distortions
Other applications
Enhancement of detail
Sharpening color images
Other enhancement techniques
Less common processing methods
Color separation and filtering
Frequency space (Fourier processing)
High and low pass filtering, band-pass filtering, and periodic noise
Deconvolution, or removal of system defects
Measuring image resolution
Resolution from the Fourier transform
Tonal (gray scale) resolution
Detecting compression
Detecting forgeries
Maintaining records
The imaging chain
Surveillance video cameras
Recording and playback problems
Pixels and resolution elements
Noise and tonal resolution
Other shortcomings
Image restoration
Recognition and identification
Identification of faces
Identification by DNA
Misdirection and mistakes
The expert witnesses
Working with counsel, judges and juries

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