The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


Visualisation is becoming increasingly important for understanding information, such as investigative data (for example: computing, medical and crime scene evidence) and analysis (for example, network capability assessment, data file reconstruction and planning scenarios). Investigative data visualisation is used to reconstruct a scene or item and is used to assist the viewer (who may well be a member of the general public with little or no understanding of the subject matter) to understand what is being presented. Analysis visualisations, on the other hand, are usually developed to review data, information and assess competing scenario hypotheses for those who usually have an understanding of the subject matter. Courtroom environments are morphing into cinematic display environments, the media consumed by an audience who are increasingly visually literate and media savvy (Heintz, 2002). There are a number of fundamental implications inherent in the shift from oral to visual mediation and a number of facets of this modern evidence presentation technology needs to be investigated and analysed. One of the primary issues of visualisation is that no matter how coherent the data, there will always be conjecture and debate as to how the information is/has-been visualised and, is it presented in an acceptable and meaningful way. This paper presents a range of examples of where forensic data has been visualised using various techniques and technology, the paper then examines aspects of the visual courtroom evidence presented and discusses some of the benefits and potential problems of implementing this technology. This paper is part two of a two-part series that aims to describe the use of, and provide guidelines for, the use of graphical displays in courtrooms.


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