3D Laser Scanning: A Reliable Tool in Forensic Science and Public Safety 

While you may know about the benefits of laser scanning for building projects, it’s also proven to be a reliable tool in the public safety sector. Products like the Leica RTC360 and Cyclone Software are user-friendly for people who have no background in using scanning devices. 

3D laser scanning can bring detectives back to a crime scene. Investigators can access at any moment, even years later, highly-detailed virtual crime scenes, increasing planning and situational awareness.

To understand some of the benefits of laser scanning tools in forensic science, let’s review the products and how they work in the field. 

What is the RTC360? 

The Leica RTC360 Laser Scanner is an easy to use, precise scanning tool that captures environments in 3D. Within minutes, the RTC360 collects data and provides high-quality imagery and spatial data to streamline your workflow. That data captured shows results in real-time, even in environments that are challenging. 


In investigations, the RTC360 can combine photographs, videos, and other traditional methods into a one-person, user-efficient experience.

Related:  When Precision and Accuracy Matter; Putting the RTC360 Scanning Technology to the Test (With Examples!)

What does Leica Cyclone software do? 

The Leica Cyclone FIELD 360 mobile-device app is a field companion for the Leica RTC360 3D laser scanner to automatically capture, register, and examine scan and image data on-site. It provides all the deliverables you need in one place. Cyclone modules take users from start to finish for every type of point cloud project.

Watch how it works here. 

How laser scanning is used in public health and justice sectors: 

  • Radar enforcement on highways
  • Traffic reconstruction
  • Tactical planning
  • Emergency management
  • Disaster response
  • Homeland security
  • Post-blast analysis

The Leica Cyclone suite of software, for example, can empower public safety officials with the high-tech means to accurately record a crime scene. Colleagues, command staff, attorneys, judges, juries, and anyone with a stake in the outcome of a criminal or civil investigation can review the precise data and analyze the scene. 

Case Study: Spokane PD uses laser scanning to map a challenging seven-acre scene.

Spokane Police Department Major Crime Unit Investigators were deployed to map a challenging environment, which included seven acres of woods, hills, and rocky outcroppings. Spokane PD used the RTC360 to document that environment and the topography. 

The RTC360 proved to be fast, efficient, and “magic,” according to Investigator Paul Taylor. In less than four hours, Spokane PD gathered nearly a billion points of data, including 37 scans and high-dynamic-range (HDR) imagery. 

When the prosecutor’s office “started seeing these terrestrial scans of crime scenes coming in from the Washington State Crime Lab, which has a Leica ScanStation P40,” Investigator Brian Shrier explains, “the prosecutor’s office requested that all diagramming of major crime scenes be done with a scanner.” 

In this case, RTC360 delivered an immersive, 3D photorealistic digital reality environment that allowed users to view, move through, measure, and markup the scene as needed. 

Want to learn more? 

Datum Tech Solutions provides one-on-one training and ongoing tech support. 

Schedule a call today!

Our favorite products featured in this blog

Leica RTC360 3D Laser Scanner

The Leica RTC360 3D reality capture solution empowers users to document and capture their environments in 3D, improving efficiency and productivity in the field and in the office through fast, simple-to-use, accurate, and portable hardware and software. The RTC360 3D laser scanner is the solution for professionals to manage project complexities with accurate and reliable 3D representations and discover the possibilities of any site.


The Leica RTC360 3D Laser Scanner is a highly portable and automated tool designed for maximum productivity. Capture scans, including enriching HDR imagery, in less than two minutes. The intuitive RTC360 also features edge computing for automatic registration of scans in real time and tags to augment data capture. Enjoy improved planning with this professional 3D laser scanner.


  • Highly portable, highly automated, intuitive and designed for maximum productivity, the RTC360 solution efficiently combines the RTC360 a high-performance 3D laser scanner, Leica Cyclone FIELD 360 mobile-device app for edge computing for automatically registering scans in real time, and Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS office software to integrate your 3D model seamlessly into your workflow.
  • Capture scans, including enriching High-Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery, in less than two minutes.
  • Automatically record your moves from station to station to pre-register your scans in the field without manual intervention.
  • Augment your data capture with information tags illustrating the opportunities for better planning, reflect site reality, and boost your teams’ situational awareness
  • Directly publish your captured data from Cyclone FIELD 360 to Leica TruView Cloud to quickly exchange project information prior to import and registration"


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