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What are the differences between theodolite and total station?

Total Station& Theodolite

From the building of the Egyptian pyramids to the construction of today’s massive skyscrapers, surveyors have played an important part in engineering history. Precision measurements are essential for a surveyor to do his or her job properly, and this is accomplished through the use of specialized equipment. While the theodolite has long been a trusted instrument in a surveyor’s arsenal, the total station is becoming increasingly popular. Here’s a look at the two devices, how they’re similar and the differences that make them unique.

The Theodolite: a Trusted Tool

For more than 500 years, surveyors and engineers have relied on the theodolite as the main instrument for gathering information. At its core, the device is a telescope that can be moved on both the horizontal and vertical axes to align with a measuring stake. With this hyper-accurate tool, a surveyor only needs basic knowledge of trigonometry and precise measurements of the angle changes to provide the necessary information on the area in question.

Total Stations: the New School

The steady march of technological progress has made life much easier for surveyors through inventions such as the total station. This sophisticated device combines all of the functionality of a theodolite with other abilities such as an auto level and electronic distance meter. By using laser pulses, total stations can gather much more accurate information over extreme distances. Since data is gathered electronically, it can be instantly imported into the computer for analysis.

Which Is Better?

Now you know the difference between these two important pieces of survey equipment, which is better suited for your next job? While the total station provides more accurate information and can be operated by one person, it’s also significantly more expensive and requires additional training. Theodolites have centuries of proven operation at a more affordable price, but they require two surveyors to gather data and lose accuracy over longer distances. Take a hard look at your budget and the scope of your surveying project and you’ll be able to figure out which device to purchase.

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Survey Accurately

Don’t compromise your next engineering project because you opted to purchase the wrong equipment, No matter if you’re in search of a theodolite or a total station, turn to the experts at Engineer Supply. We’ve worked with contractors just like you for 20 years, and we have what it takes to make informed recommendations and get the right products to you as quickly as possible. To learn about our equipment offerings or ask about our current shipping specials, call us toll-free at 1-800-591-8907 today.

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