Visualising Forensic Data: Investigation to Court

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Security Research Centre


Dr Andrew Woodward and Prof Craig Valli


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)




Fowle, K. G., Schofield, D. (2011). Visualising Forensic Data: Investigation to Court. Paper presented at the Australian Digital Forensics Conference. Perth, Western Australia. Available here


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. Visualisation represents information that has been digitally recorded (for example: pictures, video and sound), hand written and/or spoken data, to show what may have, could have, did or is believed to have happened. That is why visualising data is an important development in the analysis and investigation realms, as visualisation explores the accuracies, inconsistencies and discrepancies of the collected data and information. 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 concludes with a discussion of potential benefits and problems.



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