What is geoFOR?
Determining the time of death is one of the critical pieces of information to provide when human remains are discovered. An accurate determination of the postmortem interval can facilitate the identification of an unknown individual and help to reconstruct the events around the time of death.
geoFOR recognizes the major weakness with the current state of research is the lack of a large and representative reference data set that can be used to develop and test new methods for estimating the time since death. We seek to improve this through creating a crowdsourced method for compiling information about cases to create a robust data set. As practitioners in need of a reliable method of determining PMI, you will be helping gather and moving the field forward.
This dataset utilizes a spatially coded, GIS application that is accessible from mobile devices and tablets among other devices. Forensic investigators working on a case use the app to record basic scoring information on the state of decomposition, upload photos of the state of decomposition (if allowed), and the GIS software records the location of the discovery.
Spatial databases can be accessed and aligned to the GIS location data gathered by forensic investigators at scenes. The spatial information collected at the scene can be easily associated with other environmental data, such as temperature and vegetation, that may be of interest to researchers in order to refine models for calculating PMI.
The ultimate goal of this project is to create a database that can be used by researchers to create, test, and refine models of decomposition rates in order to improve methods for estimating PMI.