Physical Traces and Digital Stories: Exploring the Connections Between Forensics and Visualization

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Forensics, or forensic science, deals with the analysis of evidence for investigation. It is a a wide and strongly interdisciplinary field that needs the coupling of research, practice, and communication to be useful. New techniques have to be constantly developed and applied in the field to solve social conflicts. Recent work suggests, however, that there are many gaps in this coupling, and we argue that there are lessons to be learned from them. Among the difficulties faced by forensics are the management of its interdisciplinarity and over-specialization, and the effective adoption of new research, which are also pressing for the visualization community. In this paper, we bring a gentle introduction to the challenges of forensics with a focus on its digital forms and explore connections to visualization. We believe these connections can be leveraged to further the development of both fields, and particularly that visualization and interaction are critical for the forensics process.

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