sketch of criminals made by policemen


Asian Language
I read a local newspaper calling a sketch of a criminal a "cartographic sketch." When I checked the dictionary, it says that "cartography" has something to do with making maps.

What is the correct term for the sketch of criminals?

Many thanks.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It used to be called a photo-fit, when it was literally made of fixing bits of photos together. I don't know what it is called now, but cartographic sketch doesn't seem right, for the reason you say.


    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    Police sketches may be called composit sketches or artist's impressions. There is also a computer system which maps out facial details (in three dimensions) to be able to identify people on closed circuit cameras in public places. That may be what is refered to as a cartographic sketch, but I am only guessing.


    Senior Member
    US, English
    I had an opportunity to use the software mentioned in the wikipedia article (FACES), and police officers in my area still refer to the image as a 'composite' or 'composite sketch'. I think 'facial composite' is used a bit more often to refer to 3-D computer model of a person's entire face or head.
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