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The differences between theodolite and total station

These are two of the main surveying instruments that are used for measuring vertical and horizontal angles during engineering projects and surveying. However, there are certain basic differences between theodolite and total station.

A theodolite is a scientific precision instrument which measures angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. It is mainly used for surveying operations. Some of the adapted types of theodolites are even used in fields like meteorology and rocket launch technology. A total station essentially is a theodolite- an electronic analytical balance to be specific. Thus it can be called a type of theodolite which is integrated with an electronic distance meter for reading slope distances between the instrument and a particular point.

It seems that total station is a superior surveying tool as compared to sieve shaker due to its digital integration and all-inclusive features. However, factors related to time, expertise available, and cost also determine whether one would like to use a theodolite or a total station.