NIA to use satellite images for mapping terror attack sites

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will now use satellite images to map a terror attack site instead of hand-drawn sketches or photographs that probe agencies across the country use to depict a crime scene. The NIA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for the satellite images and other geo-spatial data for mapping such sites.

“Since terror attacks normally happen in large outdoor areas, it (satellite images) will help us explain the scene of crime (or terror attack) in a better manner to a judge at the time of trial or even to a prosecutor who will present our case in the court,” NIA chief Sharad Kumar said.

The MoU also stipulates that both the NIA and NRSC will work together to develop an application for mobile phones and tablets, using which field investigators will annotate text, icon and drawing on the satellite images for accurate description of a scene.

“We can mark the entry or exit points of terrorists, place of recovery of weapon or bodies using drawing tools on the mobile application,” said an NIA field investigator. Once the annotation is complete, the field investigator will connect the mobile device with a computer at the headquarters and using a built-in interface, print the complete imagery with annotations and other details.

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