NIJ Funded Software Tools, Apps and Databases

NIJ has funded a number of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research. Find tools for:

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If you experience issues with the tools listed on this page, use the contact information on the developer's site for assistance. If you are unable to resolve your problem, contact the NIJ Web Manager .

Software and Online Tools
TitleDeveloperDescriptionAvailability and CostDownloads/Links
Public Safety Communications
CAPRAD: Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database SystemCommunications Technology Center of ExcellenceCAPRAD is a nationwide database for public safety professionals to coordinate the use of and application for frequencies in the 700 and 800-MHz band. Because the band is limited and the demand is growing in many parts of the country for spectrum utilization, coordination and cooperation are a must for the benefit of public safety. CAPRAD is separated into three functional segments: an allocation segment that provides for the pre-allocation of the spectrum by region, an application segment which provides interactive and coordinated application for frequencies using the FCC Form 601, and an administrative/reporting segment that provides specialized access for administrative functions. Select features are available to all uses. Full access is limited to frequency coordinators or members of Regional Planning Committees or Interoperability Planning Committee. Access CAPRAD
Digital Forensics
National Software Reference Library (NSRL)NISTThe National Software Reference Library is designed to collect software from various sources and incorporate file profiles computed from the software into a Reference Data Set (RDS) of information. The RDS can be used by law enforcement, government and industry organizations to review files on a computer by matching file profiles in the RDS. This will help alleviate much of the effort involved in determining which files on computers or file systems seized as part of criminal investigations are important as evidence. $90 annual subscription (quarterly updates), open to all users.Purchase the NSRL
FieldSearch NLECTCField Search is a suite of software products designed for use in the field by non-technical criminal justice personnel to allow them to quickly and efficiently search a target computer and create a detailed report of the findings. This approach provides a fast and powerful, yet easy method of examining and monitoring computer use. Field Search blends preview functions with evidence gathering and reporting functions.

Available for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Free, but available to public sector criminal justice agencies only.Request a download link.
MacResponse LE™ AIS, Inc.MacResponse LE is a computer-incident response toolkit for law enforcement that provides the ability to efficiently acquire and analyze volatile system data from running Mac OS X systems. MacResponse LE consists of two applications: the Live application, which executes from an external storage device (e.g., USB drive), and the Console application, which is the offline analysis component.

The Console is available for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Free and open to all users.Request a download link.
P2P Marshal: Forensic EditionATC-NYP2P Marshal: Forensic Edition runs on a forensic investigator’s workstation to detect and analyze peer-to-peer (P2P) software use. The forensic edition automatically analyzes P2P usage on disk images (to analyze live systems, see the field edition below). P2P Marshal detects which P2P client programs are, or were, present; extracts configuration and log information; and shows the investigator the uploaded and downloaded files.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free to U.S. law enforcement agencies and available for purchase by other entities.Request a free law enforcement copy.

Purchase a copy.
P2P Marshal: Field Edition ATC-NYP2P Marshal: Field Edition runs on a USB drive to analyze P2P software use on a live computer in the field. It requires no installation. The field edition software tool can also be used on an investigator’s workstation in the lab to examine disk images. P2P Marshal detects which P2P client programs are, or were, present; extracts configuration and log information; and shows the investigator the uploaded and downloaded files.

Available for Windows operating system.
Discounted for U.S. law enforcement agencies and also available for purchase by other entities.Purchase a copy for law enforcement use.

Purchase a copy for non-law enforcement use.  
Mac Marshal: Forensic EditionATC-NYMac Marshal: Forensic Edition runs on a forensic investigator’s workstation to automatically analyze a Mac disk image (see the field edition for analyzing a live machine in the field). It scans a disk image, automatically detects and displays Macintosh and Windows operating systems and virtual machine images, then runs a number of analysis tools on the image to extract Mac OS X–specific forensic evidence written by the OS and common applications.

Available for Mac operating system.
Free to U.S. law enforcement agencies and available for purchase by other entities.Request a free law enforcement copy.

Purchase a copy.
Mac Marshal: Field EditionATC-NYMac Marshal: Field Edition runs off a USB drive and analyzes Mac OS X file system images. It requires no installation. It scans a Macintosh disk image, automatically detects and displays Macintosh and Windows operating systems and virtual machine images, then runs a number of analysis tools on the image to extract Mac OS X–specific forensic evidence written by the OS and common applications.

Available for Mac operating system.
Discounted for U.S. law enforcement agencies and also available for purchase by other entitiesPurchase a copy for law enforcement use.

Purchase a copy for non-law enforcement use.
Router MarshalATC-NYRouter Marshal automatically acquires digital forensic evidence from network devices such as routers and wireless access points. An investigator can use Router Marshal in the field to identify a network device, automatically acquire volatile forensic evidence from the device, and view and interpret this evidence. Router Marshal follows forensic best practices and maintains a detailed log file of all activities it performs and all communications with the target device.

Available for Windows and Linux operating systems.
Free, but available to public sector criminal justice agencies only.Request a download link.
Live Marshal ATC-NYLive Marshal is user-configurable software to aid first responders in rapid forensic examinations. Live Marshal enables a responder to rapidly acquire data from one or more systems over an enterprise network. Because Live Marshal is user-configurable, responders can incorporate their own trusted command-line tools.

Available for Linux operating system.
Free, but available to public sector criminal justice agencies only.Request a download link.
Mac Memory ReaderATC-NYMac Memory Reader is a command-line utility to capture the contents of physical RAM on a suspect Macintosh computer, letting an investigator gather volatile state information prior to shutting the machine down.

Available for Mac operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download (.tar.gz)
MemMarshallATC-NYMemMarshall is an automated memory analysis system that assists and automates computer forensic investigations of volatile memory (RAM) images. MemMarshall enables computer forensic investigators to analyze and effectively make use of information contained in volatile memory. Memory analysis produces important, case-relevant data for investigators that cannot be obtained from disk analysis, such as running applications, open files, active network connections.

Available for Windows XP or newer operating system.
Free to law enforcement personnel.Download (zip)
Windows Memory ReaderATC-NYWindows Memory Reader is a simple command-line utility to capture the contents of physical RAM on a suspect computer, letting an investigator gather volatile state information prior to shutting the machine down. Results are stored in a Windows crash dump or raw binary file for later off-line analysis by the investigator. Researchers can also use Windows Memory Reader to capture memory-mapped device data, such as shared video memory.

Available for Windows operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
eMule Reader ATC-NYeMule Reader is a collection of command-line tools that parse and output the contents of configuration and log files from the eMule P2P file-sharing client. These tools are based on the eMule acquisition and analysis tools in P2P Marshal, a computer forensic tool for automated peer-to-peer investigations.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.    Download (zip)
Redlight Porn Scanner Rhode Island Digital Forensics CenterRedLight Porn Scanner is a law enforcement scanner that detects pornography using sophisticated image analysis techniques to detect characteristics such as high concentrations of skin tone and edges indicative of humans. RedLight Porn Scan can find pornography in images quickly, allowing visual confirmation by the investigator through a display of thumbnails, and then exporting selected images, reports and hash sets suitable for importing into powerful analysis tools such as EnCase, FTK and X-Ways.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Video Previewer Rhode Island Digital Forensics CenterVideo Previewer quickly processes a video and shows its key frames in a PDF file. It is particularly useful in investigations where watching a video is time consuming. It allows specification to select frames at equally spaced intervals, or to perform intelligent selection of frames based on scene changes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
SAFE VNCRhode Island Digital Forensics CenterSAFE VNC is a free add-on to the SAFE[1] forensics boot disk for Windows. It allows an investigator access over the standard Internet to a remote suspect computer that has been booted with SAFE. It allows an on-site person to boot the suspect computer and attach a drive for fast imaging on that computer’s bus, and for the trained investigator to run tools in the booted environment that perform the acquisition and triage — all from an off-site location.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
NIJ also sponsors the Computer Forensics Tool Testing Program, which develop methodology and tests computer forensics tools. See all test reports.
Fire and Arson Investigation
Burning Item DatabaseDepartment of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida
The Burning Item Database is a collection of fire test data for commonly used household and office furniture (e.g., chairs, sofas, mattresses, bookcases). The original data were collected during furniture calorimeter tests and the database was constructed from a review of different sources presenting test results, including books, articles published in technical journals and technical websites on the internet. Free and open to all users.Access database
Material Thermal Properties Database Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida
The Material Thermal Properties Database is a small collection of thermal properties for materials used to construct common objects found in households and offices. Thermal properties relevant to fire behavior include thermal conductivity, mass density, specific heat, and, for materials that may undergo thermal degradation, heat of gasification and ignition temperature. Free and open to all users.Access database
Smokeless Powders DatabaseNational Center for Forensic Science, University of Central FloridaThe Smokeless Powders Database is a reference collection of information and data on powders obtained from various sources, including vendors and manufacturers. It is designed to assist forensic explosives analysts in characterizing, classifying and comparing smokeless powder samples based on their physical and chemical properties. Each database record contains a photomicrograph of the powder, its source information and its physical characteristics, as well as GC-MS and FTIR data identifying the chemical components. Free and available to all users.Access database
Ignitable Liquids Database National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida

Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives
The Ignitable Liquids Reference Collection is a compilation of reference materials used by forensic analysts to conduct fire debris analysis. The collection consists of a comprehensive set of ignitable liquids and accompanying characterization data used in the analysis of fire debris samples in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials E-1618 standard test methods. Free and available to all users.Access the database
Substrate Database National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida

Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives
The Substrate Database is a compilation of headspace GC/MS data from burned and unburned materials that are common to fire scenes. These materials may produce compounds that can interfere with the identification of ignitable liquids in fire debris. The Substrate Database can assist a fire debris analyst by demonstrating the types of compounds and chromatographic patterns that may be produced by these commonly encountered materials. Free and open to all users.Access database
Forensic DNA
US Y-STR Database National Center for Forensic Science and the Y-STR ConsortiumThe U.S. Y-STR Database is an online searchable listing of 11- to 17-locus Y-STR haplotypes, which are required to provide a statistical estimate of the significance of a match. The U.S. Y-STR Database combines data from the National Center for Forensic Science with databases from government, commercial and academic resources throughout the United States. The database provides tools for laboratories to obtain Y-STR haplotype frequencies needed to calculate matching or paternity probabilities with confidence intervals. Free and open to all users.Access database
Forensic Resource Reference on Genetics Knowldgebase (FROG-kb)Yale UniversityFROG-kb is an online database intended to make allele frequency data for SNPs and other genetic polymorphisms more useful in a forensic setting. FROG-kb is implementing computational tools that use the underlying allele frequencies with user-provided data. These tools are organized by the methodology followed and by the different published SNP/marker panels available. FROG-kb uses the data from the ALlele FREquency Database, ALFRED. Free and open to all users.Access FROG-kb
AutoDimerNISTAutoDimer software was developed to rapidly screen previously selected PCR primers for primer-dimer and hairpin interactions in short DNA oligomers (< 30 nucleotides). AutoDimer was originally created to assist in the development of multiplex PCR assays for probing STR and SNP markers for forensic purposes. Free and open to all users.Access web-based version

Download page
Multiplex_QANISTMultiplex QA, Excel-based software works in conjunction with the NIH-developed BatchExtract system to help users visualize short- and long-term changes in ABI 310 and 3100 electropherogram quality. BatchExtract converts ABI binary .fsa files into readily usable text data. Multiplex QA then uses these files to estimate and display quality metrics that capture changes in electropherographic resolution and efficiency. Free and available to all users.Download Multiplex QA (zip)

Download page for BatchExtract
mixSTR: Software to Help Identify Reference Profiles NIST and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office mixSTR is an Excel-based tool that can help identify reference profiles in sets of mixed-source samples. Given allele lists for one or more evidentiary samples and all relevant suspect and control reference profiles, mixSTR provides detailed lists of the match and mismatch alleles among all samples and STR profiles. Sorted summaries of the percent of included alleles and loci for all comparisons are also provided. This tool is intended for use by forensic scientists working with mixed-source samples, particularly cases involving a number of suspects. Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
STR_ConvertFormats Software NISTSTR ConvertFormats is an Excel-based tool developed to transform STR typing data from tables where every row contains information from a single locus (e.g., GeneMapperID output format) to a format where every row contains all typing results for a single sample (e.g., Genotyper table format). Free and available to all users.Download (xls) (must enable Excel macros)
STR_MatchSamplesNISTSTR MatchSamples is an Excel-based tool developed to aid comparison of STR genotypes from two or more data sets. The Exact Match function creates a list of all samples that are fully concordant at all loci between the samples being compared. The Best Match function compares each sample to all others to look for other samples in the data set with similar genotypes. Free and available to all users.Download (xls) (must enable Excel macros)
Virtual Mixture Maker NISTVirtual Mixture Maker is an Excel-based tool developed to aid in sample selection for the NIST Mixture Interpretation Study (MIX05). This program performs a pairwise comparison of STR profiles in a dataset and reports the number of loci possessing zero to six alleles in all possible two-person mixtures. Free and available to all users.Download (xls)
Forensic Document Examination
CedarFox Forensic Document Examination SystemCedar Tech

State University of New York, Buffalo
CedarFox is a system for analyzing complex documents, particularly those that are handwritten. The system is primarily designed for interactive use by forensic questioned document examiners. It is also a document image processing system for use with scanned documents. The system also can be used to archive and search documents.

See an NIJ sponsored technology transition workshop on CedarFox.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
Forensic Information Management
Forensic Information Data Exchange (FIDEX) National Forensic Science Technology CenterThe Forensic Information Data Exchange system consists of the a portal and two standardized sets of Information Exchange Package Documents, one for submitting forensic cases to the crime laboratory and one for tracking the disposition of court cases for which forensic evidence has been submitted. By electronically determining the real-time status of court cases, crime laboratories can reduce their backlogs by identifying cases that have been dismissed or plea bargained in the courts and no longer need analysis.

Will run on Windows, Mac and Unix operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download page and documentation
Forensic Anthropology/Medicolegal Death Investigation
3D-ID: Geometric Morphometric Classification of Crania for Forensic Scientists Florida State University

North Carolina State University
3D-ID is a Java program that provides geometric morphometric tools to aid in the assessment of the sex and ancestral affiliation of unknown cranial remains. When users provide 3D-ID with the three-dimensional coordinates of anatomical points available from the subject, the program constructs comparable reference samples and assigns the subject to one of several groups for which sufficient data are available.

Works with any platform supporting Java.
Free and open to all users.Download page
Forensic Toolmarks
Forensic Toolmark Database Toolmark Statistics Research Lab, John Jay College of Criminal JusticeThe Forensic Toolmark Database is designed primarily to provide benchmark data for researchers in the area of computational pattern recognition develop algorithms and compare results. It also demonstrates to the larger forensic toolmark practitioner community the capabilities of 3D microscopy and multivariate statistics.

To view and analyze files you can use ImageJ (public domain Java application for image processing) and R (free application for statistical analysis)
Free but available for non-commercial research use only and registration is required.Access the database

Download page for imageJ

Download page for R
Forensic Toxicology and Controlled Substances
ForensicDB: Cheminformatics Database RTI InternationalThe Cheminformatics Database is an online data library providing the ability to search a given spectra against a Web-accessible database of reviewed spectra and have spectra from multiple spectral methods available in the same database. The database seeks to include FTIR, EI-MS and accurate mass data on compounds of forensic interest. Users can search the database from the Web without any other software, and users are also encouraged to strengthen the database by contributing spectral data. Free and open to all users but, registration is required.Access database (requires Internet Explorer only)
Law Enforcement Incident Response
ASTRO — Active Shooter Training for the Responding OfficerSignature Science, LLCASTRO is a simulation tool that allows a law enforcement officer to be immersed in active shooter scenarios. The law enforcement officer must make decisions and act on those decisions to bring an end to the threat.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Law enforcement investigation
368+ Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law EnforcementCenter of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, University of California, IrvineOne in ten older Americans experiences abuse or neglect each year. The number of abuse reports are growing at the same time that resources for agency responses are shrinking. To help California law enforcement in this critical work, here is a mobile app "cheat sheet" for responding to abuse of elders and dependent adults (vulnerable adults with disabilities).
Notes:
- This app was not sponsored by NIJ but does present NIJ-funded research.
- Some parts of the app are specific to California law.

Available for Droid devices, iPhones/iPads and mobile web.
Free for a limited time and available to all users.iPad/iPod

Droid

Mobile Web
Forensic And Crime-scene Tool Set – FACTSNLECTCFACTS provides officers with access to comprehensive crime scene processing policies, procedures, and recommendations.

The procedures and steps identified in FACTS are not intended to be all inclusive but to serve as a foundation for each agency to build a quick reference guide for officers. The Authoring System allows each agency to modify policies, procedures and steps to meet the agency's individual needs.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and open to all users.

Download FACTS Setup (zip)

Download FACTS Admin Setup (zip)

Download FACTS Installation Instructions-XP (pdf)

Mapping and Analysis
CrimeStat (4.0)Ned Lavine & AssociatesCrimeStat is a spatial statistical program used to analyze the locations of crime incidents and identify hot spots. This program includes features to identify and analyze hot spots, plot crime incidents on a map, view crime concentrations over a large area, track offender behavior over time, estimate a serial offender's residence, and study routes for high-speed chases.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
ACS AlchemistAzavea

Center for Security and Crime Science at Temple University
ACS Alchemist is an open source tool that enables the extraction of up to 100 variables from the American Community Survey. The data is extracted directly into a format convenient for display on maps or for use in advanced spatial analysis and modeling.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Urban Crime SimulatorKent State UniversityUrban Crime Simulator groups urban neighborhoods into clusters based on a user's definition of neighborhood characteristics. The software then uses the resulting clusters to estimate changes in crime rates.

Running Urban Crime Simulator also requires installation of ArcEngine Runtime 9.3 and ArcExplorer.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Near-Repeat CalculatorTemple UniversityNear-Repeat Calculator, which originates with the discovery of the near-repeat phenomenon in burglary patterns, calculates the risk of near repeat events in crime data. The near-repeat phenomenon states that if a location is the target of a crime, such as burglary, then homes within a relatively short distance have an increased chance of being burgled for a limited period of time.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Geographic ProfilerTowson State UniversityGeographic Profiler allows users to take into account geographic features that affect crime site selection and the choice of an offender's anchor point.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)
SPIDER Crime Series Analysis SoftwareSouth Carolina Research Authority

Eastern Kentucky University
SPIDER is a spatial statistics program for the tactical crime analysis of linked crime incident locations. The program is Windows-based and interfaces with most desktop GIS programs. The purpose is to provide spatial and temporal analysis support to law enforcement agencies investigating a series of linked crimes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Python Spatial Analysis Library (pysal)GeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityPySAL is an open source, cross-platform library of spatial analysis functions written in Python. It is intended to support the development of high-level applications for spatial analysis.

Available for Windows, Mac and Unix operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download page
OpenGeoDaGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityOpenGeoDa is a collection of software tools designed to implement techniques for exploratory spatial data analysis on lattice data. It is intended to provide a user-friendly and graphical interface to methods of descriptive spatial data analysis, such as autocorrelation statistics and indicators of spatial outliers.

Available for Windows, Mac and Unix operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download page
GeoDaSpaceGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityGeoDaSpace performs advanced spatial modeling of crimes.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
GeoDaNetGeoDa Center, Arizona State UniversityGeoDaNet is software that performs spatial analysis of crimes on street networks. Read the GeoDaNet manual.

Available for Windows and Mac operating systems.
Free and available to all users.Download page
School Crime Operations Package Abt AssociatesThe School Crime Operations Package is software that allows school personnel to enter, analyze and map crime incidents that occur in and around schools. It can be used by single schools or school districts to enforce safety, investigate crime and delinquency and plan violence prevention initiatives.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
Missing Persons
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) National Forensic Science Technology Center

Occupational Research Associates
NamUs is an online, national centralized repository and resource center for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. NamUs can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public from all over the country in hopes of resolving these cases. Free, but some sections are available only to public safety personnel.Access databases (requires registration):
- Missing persons
- Unidentified persons
- Unclaimed persons
School Safety
School Crime Operations Package Abt AssociatesThe School Crime Operations Package is software that allows school personnel to enter, analyze and map crime incidents that occur in and around schools. It can be used by single schools or school districts to enforce safety, investigate crime and delinquency and plan violence prevention initiatives.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download page
School Critical Incident Planning — Generator (SCIP-G)NLECTCA tool that provides step-by-step guidance for creating a plan using the most widely accepted law enforcement practices and procedures as the foundation.

Available for Windows operating system.
Free and available to all users.Download (zip)

Note

[1] SAFE is a commercial product. This product is referenced for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.