Forensic expertise based on satellite imagery is a procedural action that involves conducting investigations and providing expert opinions on issues that require the use of satellite and/or aerial photographs and specialized knowledge. It is requested by the authority or individual authorized to appoint forensic expertise, in order to establish facts that need to be proven in a specific case.
The basis for conducting forensic expertise is a ruling or decision of the authority or individual authorized to appoint forensic expertise.
The use of satellite imagery and aerial photographs, which provide information about the present and the past, georeferenced in space and time, is a relatively new and indispensable method of evidence presentation in judicial practice. These images are valuable for proper verification, investigation of crimes, and presentation of cases in court. Traditional forensic examinations involve the detection, identification, collection, and cataloging of physical evidence for presentation in court, and Earth remote sensing data serves as evidential elements in a wide range of legal proceedings.
Geo Innoter LLC was recognized as the Best Expert Company in the field of forensic examination based on satellite and aerial imagery data for the year 2021 (Judicial and Expert Chamber of the Russian Federation, dated April 22, 2022).
What is the purpose of forensic expertise?
The purpose of forensic expertise is to resolve issues that require evidence in a specific case, using satellite or aerial photographs.
- Describing the dynamics of changes (or lack thereof) in the condition of objects (crops, forests, quarries, buildings, etc.) on the ground;
- Establishing the presence and dates of construction of residential, industrial, and other structures;
- Identifying violations of land use conditions on specific dates;
- Detecting violations of land boundaries and restricted areas on selected dates.
Insurance companies, when an event occurs, need to know the situation before, during, and after the event. The situation before the event can be analyzed using historical imagery, while the development of the situation during and afterwards can be captured through new customized satellite or aerial imagery.
For lawyers and attorneys, satellite imagery allows for the guaranteed presentation of the real situation on the ground on specific dates. For prosecutors and investigators, the use of satellite imagery helps prove the existence of damage and assess its extent during criminal investigations. The use of satellite imagery as evidence in legal and commercial disputes has been developed for over 20 years and is widely practiced worldwide.
You can order from us
Objectives and tasks of forensic expertise:
The purpose of geospatial expertise is to establish the truth, specifically the reliability, completeness, and accuracy. Forensic expertise using satellite imagery is required to objectively confirm facts in cases such as:
- Illegal (or unauthorized) use of land;
- Unauthorized occupation of land designated for agricultural purposes;
- Illegal extraction of minerals, quarrying, deforestation, etc.;
- Illegal construction in protected areas;
- Evaluation of the accuracy of insurance claims and premiums;
- Discharge of wastewater into water bodies, soil pollution;
- Improper waste disposal;
- And more.
Specific tasks of geospatial expertise include:
- Locating boundaries and relative localization of objects;
- Determining the presence, absence, or condition of an object using archival satellite imagery (e.g., determining the date of construction of buildings and structures);
- Describing the dynamics of changes (or lack thereof) in the condition of an object;
- Determining object parameters;
- Identifying violations of land boundaries and land use conditions;
- Determining the type of object (e.g., natural or man-made) and making assumptions about specific types/species of objects with varying degrees of probability;
- Documenting the presence and extent of damage (damage assessment);
- Environmental analysis and detection of illegal dumps;
- Establishing the fact of crop failure;
- Evaluating compliance with construction and land work deadlines;
- Establishing the start date of specific construction work;
- Establishing the date of building construction;
- Establishing the date of residential building construction;
- Establishing the date of waste dumping in a specific area;
- Establishing the date of mineral extraction;
- And other tasks.
The presentation of aerospace imagery (with confirmation of its authenticity) + georeferencing of imagery on the ground + interpretation results related to the subject matter of the investigation, serving as factual evidence during the investigation or in court based on the request for expertise by the parties involved in arbitration, civil, or criminal proceedings, including the detection, identification, collection, and cataloging of physical evidence using remote sensing methods.
Advantages of Remote Sensing Data
- Availability of detailed and informative satellite imagery in archives dating back to 1999;
- Source of objective information about the terrain and its changes;
- Possibility of studying remote and inaccessible areas;
- According to Article 64 and 89 of the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation and Article 55 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, expertise using satellite imagery is admissible as evidence in court;
- Satellite imagery serves as irrefutable objective evidence of the state of an object on the ground on a specific date;
Professionals, through their experience and technical equipment, employ a comprehensive approach to image interpretation using remote sensing in the area of expertise. By creating the values of panchromatic and multispectral interpretation—a multi-purpose index used to measure the spectral quality and spatial detail of generated images—they can significantly improve the quality (realism of objects and territories) compared to the results of classical approaches to interpreting details of generated images.
Systematic monitoring of the Earth's surface using remote sensing methods constitutes the most important archive available in the world for any investigations. These images are stored in archives and can be retrieved at any time. The history of any territory can be reconstructed.
When properly applied, remote sensing methods save time and resources for forensic investigators in search of physical evidence.
Prices for services
The cost of execution is calculated on an individual basis, taking into account a specific of task.
After receiving the task description, we calculate the cost and send you a commercial offer.
Period of execution
The deadline for completing the work is 3 (three) business days from the date of receiving a 100% advance payment.
The timeline for conducting a forensic expertise depends on the complexity of the work and is calculated individually for each client.
How to place an order:
- STEP 1: Submit an application on the website with the following information:
- Location of the object of investigation (coordinates, cadastral number, etc.);
- Questions to be examined (subject of the investigation);
- Dates for which the analysis is required.
- STEP 2: Agreement on technical requirements and cost:
- Expertise starting from RUB 15,000;
- Separate payment for the images (one high-resolution image starting from USD 300).
- STEP 3: Contract signing and commencement of work
The work will be completed within 3 business days from the date of receiving a 100% advance payment. Payment is accepted only through non-cash transactions.
We work with individuals, legal entities, individual entrepreneurs, notaries, lawyers, government and municipal authorities, foreign clients, as well as when appointed by the court as an expert organization, etc.
Fill the form and we will contact you within 15 minutes
Stages of service provision
Stage 0 (PRE-Contract):
- Identification of the research questions
- Determination of dates (period under investigation)
- Verification of the availability of archival images of the area
- Verification of the feasibility of using the pre-selected images for the investigation
RESULT: Possibility (YES/NO) of providing the service
Stage 1 (PRE-Contract):
- Agreement on the wording of the questions
- Agreement on the use of archival images
- Final determination of the workload, material costs, and agreement on the timeline and cost
RESULT: Signed contract
Stage 2 (Contract execution):
- Receipt of 100% advance payment
- Ordering of space or aerial imagery
- Verification of the authenticity of the images, including licensing
- Initial image processing
- Orthorectification of the images (georeferencing)
- Selection of technical solutions for image interpretation, taking into account the actual quality of the images
- In-depth image processing for the area of expertise
- Visual and automated image interpretation
- Conducting the research
- Legal verification of the obtained results
- Preparation of the final report
RESULT: Written document (report)
The result of the provision of services
GEO INNOTER provides the person who appointed the judicial expertise with an expert conclusion - a written document (geodynamic study) reflecting the course and results of the conducted research using space or aerial imagery. The result of the research consists of conclusions on the questions posed to the expert. The provided written document by ГЕО ИННОТЕР holds evidentiary force in court.
In summary, the outcome of the work includes a set of documents and materials related to the expertise:
- Expert conclusion with the expert's signature and the organization's seal;
- Certificate confirming the absence of changes in the remote sensing material (metadata verification and anomaly detection due to machine or manual alterations);
- Copies of the license authorizing the organization to conduct such work;
- Copy of the expert's diploma;
- Space and aerial images, maps, and other materials, if they were separately acquired by the client and/or provided by the client to LLC "GEO INNOTER".
Requirements for the Source Data
- Accurate geographic coordinates of the object in the required coordinate system (ГЕО ИННОТЕР specialists will clarify the coordinates provided by the client in any convenient form).
- Images that correspond to the research questions based on criteria such as the time of capture, spatial resolution, and availability of the required spectral channels, with an initial georeferencing using RPC.
- Orthorectified images (georeferenced on the ground) with the required accuracy.
- Question to be investigated using satellite imagery;
- Area of interest (location / coordinates of the object in any convenient format, and the object's area);
- Date or time interval.
- Identification phase.
- Preservation phase.
- Collection stage.
- Verification phase.
- Analysis phase.
- Presentation phase.