VCSA3D – Virtual Crime Scene Assessment and Analysis in Cyber Space

project graphic VCSA3D – Virtual Crime Scene Assessment and Analysis in Cyber Space Shirley Sidharta, CC BY SA 4.0

Geodetic technologies such as 3D laser scanning and 3D photogrammetry are to be tested and optimised for use in a forensic context. With the help of a professionally comprehensible and forensically documented preparation of the data basis and digital 3D modelling with optimisation for VR, crime scene scenarios and related forensic analyses can be digitally preserved through immersive 3D models. The aim is to convey complex facts of crime scene reconstruction virtually in the courtroom, which can make a decisive contribution to relieving the courts.


The aim of the project Virtual Crime Scene Assessment and Analysis in Cyber Space (VCSA3D) is to move cyber-crime scene analysis into virtual space and to obtain court-proof statements to incriminate and exonerate crime suspects. All institutions involved in the overall process are to be illuminated and synergies created. In this way, documentation, analysis and presentation workflows are generated that go hand in hand with each other, exploit maximum efficiency and make use of collaborative expertise.

VCSA3D acts as a pilot project in sub-project 5 - Cyber Security, located at the University of Worms in the inter-university transfer alliance EMPOWER. EMPOWER is a joint project of five universities of applied sciences in Rhineland-Palatinate. Under the slogan Living Cooperation and Shaping Innovation, EMPOWER aims to promote the research-based transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology in business and society in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region.

Together with partners from society, science, business and culture, cooperation projects are to be initiated under the umbrella of the five megatrends of connectivity, health, cyber security, sustainability and new work, innovative approaches to solutions for current and future issues are to be developed, suggestions and impulses are to be provided, and thus the regional innovative strength is to be strengthened and advanced.


VCSA3D networks the various institutions and develops individual and comprehensive solutions for the three-dimensional modelling and vivid (VR) representation of criminal scenes and facts.

Based on a simulated crime scene generated in cooperation with the Hessian State Criminal Police Office (HLKA), the Rechtsmedizin of the University Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt, the University of Applied Sciences for Public Management and Security (HöMS) and the bim.labor of the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, a basic requirements analysis was carried out with regard to the metrological recording and virtual representation of crime scenes in VR. In the process, various possible areas of application and requirements for the admissibility of the technology in a forensic context were highlighted, hardware and software components were compared, different modelling approaches were contrasted and explicit difficulties of crime scene recording including possible optimisation approaches were highlighted.

Beyond existing cooperations, further potential stakeholders are continuously identified, research approaches are generated and cooperations are brokered. Building on the requirements and basic analysis, further areas of application are to be evaluated simultaneously with various cooperation partners and solutions developed.

A current point of contact is the project work “Photogrammetry at the Section Table” in the Master’s degree programme. Geoinformatics and Surveying in cooperation with the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Here, possible applications and potentials of the use of photogrammetry and supplementary sensor technology in the context of forensic medical documentation are examined on real case examples and a setup incl. associated workflow for the complete and efficient 3D modelling of different post-mortem states is derived under evaluation of different hardware and software components.