Digital technology for forensic footwear analysis and vertebrate ichnology
“There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps. Happily, I have always laid great stress upon it, and much practice has made it second nature to me.” Sherlock Holmes, Study of Scarlet. Despite the fictional nature of Sherlock Holmes this statement rings true today. The study of footwear is neglected in modern forensic practice and does have much to offer. What it needs is an injection of technology and modern analytical tools. These tools are emerging from the digital revolution currently transforming vertebrate ichnology. Ichnology is the discipline of earth science which focuses on the study of trace fossils such as footprints. This book draws upon both disciplines -geology (ichnology) and forensic science -to show how the two have much to learn from each other especially with regard to the digital capture and analysis of footprints. This book presents field and laboratory methods associated with the collection, analysis and presentation of three-dimensional tracks (footprints) whether from a crime scene or a geological/archaeological excavation. It shows students, researchers and practitioners how to collect and analyse 3D data and take advantage of the digital revolution transforming ichnology. This book is not only essential reading for forensic and earth science students but also for professional forensic practitioners as well as for applied computer scientists developing new tools for visualization and analysis of 3D data. The book forms a natural methods focused complement to the successful text Fossilised Locomotion published by Springer 2014.