Keywords

Forensic archaeology, differential global positioning systems, dgps, geographic information system, gis, skeletal dispersal

Abstract

Scene mapping is an integral part of processing a forensic scene with scattered human remains. By utilizing the appropriate mapping technique, investigators can accurately document the location of human remains and maintain a precise geospatial record of this evidence at a scene. Global positioning system (GPS) units have been used for years to survey the spatial distribution of large-scale archaeological sites. However, differential global positioning (DGPS) unit now provide decreased positional error suitable for small-scale surveys, such as forensic scenes. Because of the lack of knowledge concerning this utility in mapping a scene, controlled research is necessary to determine the practicality of using DGPS in mapping scattered human remains in different environments. The purpose of this research is to quantify the accuracy of a DGPS unit for mapping skeletal dispersals and to determine the applicability of this utility in mapping dispersed remains. First, the accuracy of the DGPS unit was determined using known survey markers in different environments. Secondly, several simulated scenes were constructed and mapped in open, tree-covered, and structure-obstructed environments using the DGPS. Factors considered included the extent of the dispersal, data collection time, and the use of offsets. Data were differentially postprocessed and compared in a geographic information system (GIS) to evaluate the most efficient recordation methods. Results of this study show that the DGPS is a viable option for mapping human remains in open areas. Furthermore, guidelines for accurate scene mapping using a DGPS unit will be provided, along with a discussion concerning the integration of DGPS into GIS for scene analysis and presentation

Notes

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Graduation Date

2012

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Schultz, John

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004632

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004632

Language

English

Release Date

February 2013

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until February 2013; it will then be open access.

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