Welcome to the 3D Scanning for Crime Scene Investigation online cost/benefit analysis tool. This tool is designed to give an overview of the estimated costs and benefits associated with using a 3D scanner for crime scene investigations. The data presented on this page is a combination of our own data and models, as well as data that you will input yourself.
This page is divided up into multiple tabs, each containing a specific type of data. This data is used to construct the cost/benefit graphs you can see on the right. The initial values are taken from our own data set. Move the sliders to set the values to match what you experience in your own department. The graphs will update themselves automatically whenver a relevant value is changed.
Each graph is constructed from a Monte Carlo simulation run on the provided data values. The x-axis shows the total range of results, and the y-axis displays the frequency of each result. The higher the frequency, the more likely an outcome will occur. The median value of each set of results is displayed as a vertical line for each graph. The maximum, minimum, and median values are also displayed under each graph.
Changing a value in the sidebar will cause the graphs to recalculate and redisplay the results. This may take a few seconds. Please allow time for the graphs tp update after changing a data value to ensure you are seeing the latest results.
The annual net benefits provided by a 3D scanner are calculated by combining the annual benefits and annual costs, described below.
The annual benefits provided by a 3D scanner are calculated by combining the avoided costs for time spent diagramming a site, reduced traffic delay from time spent diagramming auto accidents, and the information value benefit provided by having access to 3D scan data.
Avoided time costs are calculated based on the time spent to fully diagram a site using a 3D scanner, vs the time it would take using traditional methods. The difference in times is taken from our own dataset of scanned crime scenes. This dataset includes the times taken to scan each crime scene as well as to diagram it traditionally. These times are then combined with the number of officers present at each crime scene and their pay to calculate the total cost.
The reduced traffic delay is calculated based on the amount of time it would take to diagram an auto accident using a 3D scanner. The amount of time the road would be closed is combined with a value representing the average cost of a road closure to get a resulting cost. This is then compared against the same cost if traditional diagramming was performed. When traffic delay is reduced by using a 3D scanner, this gives a benefit; when traffic delay is increased, it gives a cost (represented by a negative benefit).
The information value benefit refers to the value of having the additional information 3D scan data provides compared to traditional diagramming techniques. 3D scans give a complete and accurate representation of the crime scene that can be stored and accessed after the fact. The value placed on this information was determined through a series of surveys of investigators where they specified how much investigation time this extra information was worth. The total benefit is calculated from the hypothetical time savings gained from using a 3D scanner.
The annual costs of a 3D scanner consist of equipment costs, technological infrastructure costs, and training costs.
Annual equipment costs are based on the initial cost of purchasing a scanner and appropriate computer hardware, spread over the expected lifetime of the device. Any annual or semi-annual software licensing fees are also included in this cost.
Technological infrastructure costs are simply based on the expected cost to maintain any secure data storage capacity to store scan data. Scan data must be stored for as long as it may be useful. Storage needs vary by agency based on their current infrastructure and the volume of 3D scan data they collect.
Training costs are based on the initial training costs to use a scanner spread over the lifetime of the device. Training costs include the time spent on training as well as any travel costs to and from the training location.
The specific savings graph shows the benefits from avoided time costs, reduced traffic delay, and information value separately. These values are calculated in the same way as the benefits graph.
The upfront costs are all one-time costs encountered when purchasing a scanner and any associated equipment. These costs are not encountered annually. These same costs are built into the overall cost calculation used in the costs graph.
Visit our website at 3d-csi.discovery.wisc.edu.
Send a message to our email list at email@example.com.
On our site you can find a link to the initial cost benefit report used to create this tool. This report goes into further detail on the data we use and how our results are calculated. You can also find links to media and news updates about the project.
Thanks to our cost/benefit team that created the report this tool is based on: Nehemiah Chinavare, Gayatri Deshpande, Kevin Lee, Suzan Limberg, Eva Vasilijevic, Qingwei Wang, and Dave Weimer.
Thanks to our collaborators at the Dane County Sheriff's Office for their consulting and help in gathering data.
Thanks to the National Institute of Justice for funding this study.