Fingerprint Classification System

2169 Words9 Pages
Fingerprints are something that are unique to everyone, even those of identical twins. As people leave behind their fingerprints, they are leaving behind the story of what occurred in the setting. Fingerprints can be used to solve cases, however, a system of classification was needed to properly identify one fingerprint from another. Without the advancement of a classification system, the identifying fingerprints in criminal cases would be extremely difficult. As researchers discovered the unique characteristics of fingerprints, they were able to prove their usefulness in solving crimes. Dactylography, also known as the study of fingerprints, has been practiced for hundreds of years (“Fingerprints”). The people of Babylon used fingerprints…show more content…
There are many main characteristics of a fingerprint’s minutiae that allows fingerprint analysists to properly identify the fingerprint. Two of the most common characteristics are ridge ending and ridge bifurcation (Zaseir par 8-9). A ridge ending is a ridge that ends suddenly within the fingerprint. While a ridge bifurcation is a ridge ending diverges into two separate paths. The core and delta are another important classification within a fingerprint. The delta is a spot within the fingerprint that creates a three point “triangle” and the core is the top, inner ridge within the fingerprint. With each type of minutiae, a fingerprint analysist is able to classify each fingerprint into a specific…show more content…
It became difficult to house hundreds of paper copies of fingerprints and keep track of the many different areas of the world. If a crime took place in one area and the person fled, it could make it difficult for police forces to determine the suspect on fingerprints alone. It was not until the early 1960’s when the FBI and many other large police forces around the world began to start the production of the Automated Fingerprint Identification system, also known as AFIS (Moses 124-125). They needed a system that was quick and easy to use that can hold thousands of fingerprint information that can be easily be shared across the United States. A FBI special agent, Carl Voelker, went to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to design the AFIS they were hoping for. After the NIST team studied how the FBI currently searched manually for fingerprints, they deciced the easiest way would to transfer the information to an electronic database. They then created a scanner that could capture the fingerprints on a card or one that was pulled from a crime scene. The image would then be compared to the fingerprints that are stored on the online database. As it searches for a fingerprint match, it also records the minutiae and the pattern of the fingerprint. The first prototype was created in 1972 by Cornell Aeronautical Labs Inc., which was successful. By 1986,

More about Fingerprint Classification System

Open Document