Carlson Field Assists FBI in Recent Investigations

Maysville, Ky. – FBI Accident and Crime Scene Investigation teams have been in the news, and, while you might not have noticed it, Carlson Software has been right there with them. The FBI has been using Carlson Field, Carlson’s data collection solution that works inside AutoCAD® on ruggedized computers, for accident and crime scene investigation for seven years.

On the Thursday, Nov. 1, CBS Evening News, a segment highlighted the FBI’s investigation of the recent Blackwater shooting incident in Baghdad. A brief shot of a screen plot of Carlson Field with an overlay of a color aerial of Baghdad was supplied by Carlson Software and used by the network to illustrate how software was helping the FBI to reconstruct the event.

“Carlson Field works well for FBI projects because it connects to reflectorless total stations and takes shots in the field with aerial photo images overlaid if desired,” says Bruce Carlson, founder and president of Carlson Software.

“Data can be gathered quickly,” he adds, “without exposing a rodman unnecessarily, and there is no further uploading necessary since the final drawing, in AutoCAD format, is made real-time using field-to-finish techniques.”

The FBI uses Panasonic Toughbooks and Nikon reflectorless total stations, among other instruments.

Carlson Field was also put to use recently by the FBI at the 35W Minnesota bridge collapse, where it was used to help reconstruct the tragic incident. While not mentioned, Carlson Field was clearly visible, once again on the Panasonic, in the news coverage of the event. The FBI spokesman talked about the value of technology in accident reconstruction through accurate field measurements and real-time drafting in CAD.

Carlson Field has been used at home and around the world, including at Ground Zero after the 9-11 disaster. Other Carlson Software products were used to locate the borehole that saved the miners at the Quecreek disaster in 2002.

We’re always behind the scenes, it would appear,” notes Carlson, “but we’re just happy to be a part of the solution.”

About Carlson Software
Founded in 1983, Carlson Software specializes in CAD design software, field data collection, and machine control products for the surveying, civil engineering, construction, and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions from data collection to design to construction. For more information, visit