The main point of confusion, on the part of the media, is the word "analysis." In the context of this discussion, the definition of forensic video/image analysis can be found in LEVA's glossary:
Forensic Video Analysis
(FV) - (definition developed and accepted by practicing forensic scientists/examiners) Forensic Video Analysis is the scientific examination, comparison, and/or evaluation of video in legal matters. This is also called Forensic Video Analysis. (ASCLD-LAB - category definition for accreditation purposes only) A subdiscipline of Digital Multimedia Evidence which involves the examination, analysis, and/or evaluation of video.
The key word in the entire block is "scientific." In order for the analysis to be "scientific," it must follow the scientific method. The large themes of the scientific method involve testing your hypothesis against logical alternatives, asking for and receiving peer review, and the academic underpinnings of your theory. Is your hypothesis testable? Does existing literature support your test? Can your peers reproduce your results in an independent setting?
In terms of the domains of analysis, there are four agreed upon domains for forensic video/image analysis:
- Content analysis