3D Laser Scanning Services: Using Drones For Crime and Accident Scenes

Documenting Them in a New Way

With the rise in technology surrounding Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) and 3d laser scanning services, long gone are the days of battling in which rendering of an accident scene is more realistic or relying on photographs that give extremely limited points of view.

Not only are neither of these all that accurate, depending on the scene’s complexity, but they can also take quite a bit of time to disrupt the unrelated world around it.

How Drones and 3D Laser Scanning Services Give a New View

Especially as access to drones is becoming increasingly easy, reconstruction of an accident/crime scene is as easy as a drone flying overhead and using 3d scanning services to help recreate the scene.

However, depending on the scene itself and the surrounding obstacles or hazards, a drone that must be manually controlled and only gives two-dimensional images has a very limited advantage in photographs and other renderings.


One of the primary benefits of drones and 3d scanning services is a definitive increase in safety for the users or agencies involved. Depending on the drone system, there is a “stand-off distance,” the distance between the drone operator and the scene, which keeps users safe from unknown hazardous situations. In addition, the 3d laser scanning services on many drones allow for near-autonomous function and scene scanning while avoiding obstacles such as barricades and street signs.

Points of View

Another benefit to using 3d scanning services in conjunction with a drone is the ability to provide a near-infinite number of points of view. Even though they are still much more useful than hand-drawn renderings or photographs taken at ground level, drones without 3d scanning services still only provide a 2-dimensional image of the scene. This severely limits what can be reviewed and referenced as any associated investigation progresses.


A drone capable of 3d scanning services, such as Skydio’s 2+ and X2E drones and associated software, is extremely easy to fly and can recreate an accident or crime scene into a three-dimensional image or file. Before, hundreds of individual images were needed to make a composite rendering of scenes. This is an increase in accuracy over pictures taken on the ground, especially hand-drawn sketches.
With appropriate software, the user can virtually look around the scene from nearly any point of view and see details as minute as the drone’s resolution allows. This is essential for any recreation of the events leading up to the crime or accident.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D laser scanning SERVICES

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