Whether you’re just beginning to implement digital scene documentation and mapping or consider yourself a pro, there’s always something new to learn, especially with the continued advances in laser scanning hardware, software and workflows. While individual and online training is useful, the opportunity to participate in a classroom setting that allows you to learn from both expert instructors and experienced peers is invaluable.
That’s why so many public safety professionals attend HDS University, the annual training event hosted by Leica Geosystems in Norcross, GA, near Atlanta. Now in its third year, HDS University (Oct. 21-24, 2019) has expanded to include even more courses focused on the needs of law enforcement and forensic investigators, many of which are taught by retired criminalist and Public Safety Group Training Manager Ken Jones.
“You can focus your training and get immediate responses to your specific needs, along with learning how it’s being used for other people’s applications,” said a student who attended HDS University 2018. “In turn, you see some advantages for what you’re doing or maybe change some things that you’re doing. Every time I’ve come, I’ve learned something new. Even if I’ve had a class before, there’s something I pick up that I didn’t get the first year.”
Here are a few highlights from this year’s course offerings:
- Ballistic Rod Fundamentals Placement and Scanning: The placement of a trajectory rod to present a scientific analysis of firearms evidence has the greatest opportunity for error through an improperly placed rod. This course will cover fundamental placement and best practices for the forensic documentation of ballistic defects in the field. You’ll also learn how to place the laser scanner to best capture the rod detail and allow an analysis from the point cloud data.
- Measurement Tools in Cyclone: The Cyclone modules of Register and Survey offer a number of advanced measurement tools. This course will explore a variety of methods in measuring point cloud data that include planar surfaces, patches and clearances, and will provide forensic experts a variety of tools to extract extremely accurate measurement data from the point cloud.
- Data Capture Using RTC360, P-Series and BLK360 Laser Scanners: These courses will provide training on the fundamentals of scanning with the Leica Geosystems laser scanners. Although these courses are open to a range of applications, forensic users will benefit from the instruction in safety, preventive care, and ways to scan more efficiently.
- Cyclone Tips and Tricks: Cyclone has a number of hidden gems and tools that you might not have noticed. This Tips and Tricks course will highlight the most frequently used tools. New and novice users define this course as essential.
- External Camera Workflow & Processing HDR Imagery: ScanStation operators have seen significant time savings and improvements in the quality of colorized point clouds using an external camera. This course is split into two parts showing what equipment is needed to use an external DSLR camera, how to set it up properly, how to create a panoramic image in PTGui software, and how to import and colorize scan data. A second part of the course will expand into newly offered options to export HDR images taken with internal scanner cameras so they can be edited.
- Map 360 Fundamentals (Prerequisite Course): Map 360 Incident Mapping Suite offers numerous 2D and 3D drawing tools. Mastering the fundamental operation of these tools is critical to doing forensic analysis with the program. This two-hour course will cover the basics of working with the Map 360 CAD program. Forensic users not familiar with Map 360 should take this course if they plan to attend the related HDS University courses Map 360 Point Cloud Tools, Ballistic Rod Analysis, Traffic Collision Analysis or Bloodstain Analysis.
>> Note: To bypass this course at HDS University, you can take the equivalent course, Map360 Drawing Basics, online in the Leica Geosystems IMS School.
- Map 360 Point Cloud Tools: The point cloud module of Map 360 offers a number of tools to visualize a ModelSpace and draw to the cloud data. This overview class will familiarize forensic users with the fundamental 3D tools in the point cloud for navigation and orienting the point cloud data.
- Utilizing JetStream Viewer and TruView: JSV and TV are two free deliverable tools to share your point cloud data. TruView options for web hosting of data are offered to share your scene to mobile or any web browser. Forensic users will learn options on how to export each type and install and operate the tools offered in both deliverables including the Pack&Go program and the USB self-extracting JetStream Viewer.
- Ballistic Rod Analysis: Forensic analysis of trajectory rods is a key tool for interpreting statements related to a crime scene. Using a known dataset, forensic analysis will be done using Map360 software to model and then measure the vertical and horizontal impact angles and compare them to the known shooting location.
- Traffic Collision Analysis: 3D laser scanning has developed into an industry where survey professionals and traffic investigators routinely capture accident scene evidence. The fundamentals of marking evidence accident evidence for HDS documentation will be covered for all scanners along with measuring the depth of a crush on a vehicle using the Map 360 software.
- Bloodstain Analysis: Bloodstains have been used frequently to interpret the actions and event sequences in crime scenes. Forensic experts routinely take advanced training bloodstain courses to document patterns and calculate the area of convergence and area of origin of impact patterns. This course will cover the workflow of properly road mapping a scene for scanning and photographic documentation. A data example will be provided for doing area of origin analysis using Map 360.
>> Note: Expert witness testimony requires basic training in bloodstain pattern analysis. This two-hour HDS University course is not a substitution for required BPA fundamental training. For additional information on BPA training, visit https://iabpa.org/home.
- Forensic Deliverables: Scanner data can be provided in a variety of ways to the judicial system, from images, video flythroughs, TruViews and JetStream Viewer files. Each deliverable type offers advantages and has technology requirements. This course will share examples of HDS deliverables and workflows to train novices how to best present HDS data.
Other courses cover advanced strategies for using Cyclone software; data capture using the Pegasus:Backpack wearable mobile mapping solution, GS18 T GNSS RTK rover, and Leica Aibot UAV; and the integration of data from multiple sensors. You can choose to register for individual classes or sign up for class bundles at a discount. All courses give you practical hands-on experience that you can apply in your day-to-day work. Networking opportunities throughout the week will give you the chance to exchange ideas and experiences with other professionals.
To browse the complete class schedule and register online, visit www.hdsuniversity.com.
To learn about other public safety training opportunities, please contact us.