Digital Forensic Investigation >> Imagery >> Facial Mapping

Facial Mapping

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What is facial mapping?

Imagery relating to a crime is frequently of a quality that requires interpretation to assist the courts in cases of disputed identity.

Facial mapping, (also referred to as Facial comparison), is the comparison of two of more images (photographic, video or otherwise) of individuals to determine whether or not they are of the same person. (Other body parts, as appropriate, may also be examined in a similar fashion).

Quality of Imagery

The quality of the imagery available for examination inherently dictates the scope of the examination and ultimately the weight of the conclusion.


Because of inherent limitations of detail, facial mapping cannot be used to conclusively identify someone. It is recognised that two people can share similar facial proportions and morphology. Indeed, on poor quality material it can be difficult to distinguish between two people of similar appearance.

In the absence of any significant differences, rather than providing conclusive identification evidence, this evidence can be a powerful corroborative tool, giving support to other existing evidence and assisting the court in extracting the maximum amount of information from the imagery available.

Our experts combine their anatomical and imagery interpretation expertise to produce expert reports and provide expert testimony on behalf of prosecution or defence agents.


The comparative test generally held to be valid for imagery comparisons of facial features is Morphological examination.