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Forensic Rulers

October 4, 2009

I’ve been watching too much CSI/NCIS/LAW & ORDER/Num3ers. I often see equipment used that I find interesting but in a recent episode of CSI, I noticed a character photographing evidence with a particular type of ruler. It was reminiscent of a measurement device I have seen used in archeological programmes for detailing the size of an artifact. After searching around the ‘net, I found a few examples and proceeded to draw my own in Illustrator.

Forensic Rulers with No Brand

This is what I came up with. A single long ruler marked in both Centimeters and Inches, two smaller 2in rules and a pair of right-angle rulers marked up in Centimeters.

The image is linked to a full PDF version for download and printing. Print on highest quality at exactly 100%. I have produced copies on a Canon Pixma 6700D and the marks are very accurate. It is distributed under the Creative Commons license for Attribution, non-c0mmercial and share alike meaning you can copy and distribute it but not use it for commercial purposes.

I’m not sure if and when I will use these but I hope someone will find a use for them. I have also seen a set of rulers with circular apertures and was wondering weather to design a variation on those too.

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15 comments

  1. I sell alot of small items for ebay would it be okay to use your rulers for such a purpose. Rob Vann


  2. Hi Rob,

    Sorry but I licenced the rulers under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike licence so they would be freely available for everyone. They are strictly for non-profit use.

    Many thanks for your interest though.

    Steve


  3. Hi there!
    These photo scales you made are excellent! I just send the PDF to my e-mail address, so I can print it tomorrow and use it right away in my “personal practices”. The only thing I would recommend would be taking the logo off of the rulers themselves, since you can’t display a shot of any evidence with a logo stamped on it in a legal proceeding. But again, great job you did there!


    • Hi Rafael,

      With respect, I didn’t design them to be used in legal proceedings, they are purely for photographic reference. However, I’ve edited the branding from them and you can download at: http://www.destinysagent.com/docs/Destinys_Agent_Forensic_Rulers_NO_BRAND.pdf Please feel free to download, use and distribute them as you see fit. Please note that when printing from Adobe Reader, the print dialog defaults to ‘Fit’(to page) and you need to set it to ‘Actual Size’ to get them to print at 100% scale.


  4. Hi

    I am a secondary school teacher doing a forensic science unit with year 9 science class and would love to make up some forensic rulers using your designs to do mock up analysis of ‘crime scenes’. Is this OK?

    Regards
    Peter Woodhams
    Strathmore SC
    Melbourne
    Victoria
    Australia


    • Hi Peter,

      Yes, please feel free to use the rulers in your class. I’m happy for you to use and adapt them as you see fit. Many thanks for asking. Make sure you download them from my dropbox account for best quality reproduction. If you have difficulty, drop me an e-mail at steve@destinysagent.com and I’ll send you a PDF by return.

      If you happen to be using cameras whilst in the lessons, I’d really appreciate a few snaps of the rulers in use 🙂


  5. Hello Friend.

    i was wanting to ask if i could have a pdf download of your rulers/scales as i work alot with minitures and i think that these would work better than the plastic/metal ones when taken their photos whenever i am referencering these by their dementions.

    Thanks in advance

    Stevie


    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, please just right click on the image and ‘Save As’ you should get a PDF download that way.

      Steve


  6. Is there anyway to get a copy of these with out any of your text or branding? These are amazing and I am going to be doing some Macro shots of 700-1000 year old pottery sherds and can’t have any branding in the photo’s as they are going into multiple publications and lectures.

    If this is possible I would be very appreciative.
    Thank you.


    • Hi Thanks for your kind comments. I’m glad you’ll find them useful. I’ve edited the branding from them and you can download at: http://www.destinysagent.com/docs/Destinys_Agent_Forensic_Rulers_NO_BRAND.pdf Please feel free to download, use and distribute them as you see fit. Please note that when printing from Adobe Reader, the print dialog defaults to ‘Fit'(to page) and you need to set it to ‘Actual Size’ to get them to print at 100% scale.


      • Thank You!!!


      • My pleasure. If possible, may I have a few shots of them in use please?


  7. Hello,
    I have Your rulers printed, laminated and I use them often in my work – I am a trauma surgeon, so for documentation of wounds this is excelent. Thank You so much for the new (unbranded) version! My friends from the forensic medicine department are every time surprised by my pictures… 🙂


    • Hi Paul, Many thanks for your comment. I’m happy that they have come in useful for you. Best Wishes – Steve


  8. Hi,
    I’d like to say thank you for these rulers, I’m an archaeology student at Cambridge and I needed some rulers for my PhD fieldwork. These worked perfectly and it was really useful to be able to print them out already to scale. It’s too early yet to know if I’ll be using the photos in my thesis, but it’s good to have a reliable scale already.
    Thanks again!



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