Everything you need to know about the Total Station in Construction

An electrically driven and technologically sophisticated surveying equipment called a total station is used for measuring and surveying tasks. This useful tool may be used to measure distances as well as horizontal and vertical points.

A total station is an electronic/optical tool used in today's construction and surveying. It combines an electronic distance meter and a transit theodolite in one device (EDM).

It is frequently used in topographic surveying, building construction, and related disciplines because of its high degree of precision in measuring distances and angles.

Various elements in Total Station

Here are a few elements of Total Station:-

Keyboard in total station surveying

Being the primary method of entering commands to the Total Station's internal CPU, the keyboard plays a crucial role in the device.

The keyboard has several different keys, including ones for incorporating switching, commands, lights, and power. The operator may simply and effectively operate the functions of the total station using these different keys.

Storage for the data

Being the main mechanism for obtaining and storing data, the data collector is an essential part of the total station.

The measurements and observations the instrument made are included in this. The management of data entry and retrieval is handled by the data collector, making it an essential component of the Total Station's functioning.

Measurement tools

As it enables the Total Station to collect measurements using reflected beams, the measurement tool is a crucial component of the device.

Reflectors or measurement tools are typically made up of specially crafted crystals, which might take the form of prisms or reflecting glasses. To take accurate measurements with the Total Station, which is its main purpose, a reflector is essential.


Total Station surveys frequently make use of the operating system, which offers a user-friendly interface and a number of capabilities that make it possible to manage data, analyze data, and communicate with other devices effectively.

Benefits of Total Station

Utilizing the total station in surveying has the following advantages:-


The ease of use of a Total Station in surveying is one of its main advantages. Engineers and surveyors choose the instrument because it is simple to use and comprehend.

Total Stations may also measure horizontal angles and distances at the same time, making data collecting more effective. The tool also makes it easier to determine northing-easting, which is necessary for making maps and plans.

Effortless work

A Total Station's speed and efficiency are also advantages when it comes to surveying. Surveyors can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time when they use this instrument because it can collect data quickly and accurately.

Hence, a project's time and expense can be significantly decreased. Because of the Total Station's efficiency and speed, surveyors may finish their work faster and leave the field more quickly, which can be very helpful in places with tough terrain or bad weather.


A major advantage of employing a total station for surveying is its high degree of accuracy and precision.

The device can measure angles to a tenth of an arc per second and distances across thousands of feet to a hundredth of a foot. Surveyors are able to take exact measurements and create intricate maps and plans because of this degree of accuracy.

This accuracy is especially helpful in land surveying and building projects where accuracy is essential for the planning and execution of the project.

Total Station's great precision is also useful for tracking changes in land, buildings, and structures over time.

Calculates quickly

The Total Station can calculate coordinates quickly and precisely. The readings are accurate because it automatically accounts for and applies the appropriate modifications for variables like temperature and pressure.

The instrument's sophisticated technology and built-in software make it simple and quick to calculate coordinates, improving the efficiency and accuracy of the surveying process.

By automatically correcting for environmental conditions, the Total Station increases survey precision overall while lowering the likelihood of human mistakes.

As a result, the Total Station is an excellent instrument for a variety of surveying tasks, such as building, land surveying, and mapping.

To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.

Video Source: Engr. Md. Arshadul Hoque(Civil Engineering, Specially Water Treatment & RCC Engineering)

Types of Total Station

Here are some of the types of total stations used in surveying:-

Mechanical type

Mechanical total stations are a type of surveying device that depends on mechanical elements, such as gears, to conduct measurements.

They are frequently employed in surveying and building projects because of their reputation for dependability and precision.

Robotic type

The most sophisticated sort of total station is a robotic one, which uses automation and cutting-edge technology.

They may be operated remotely and by a single person, which significantly improves productivity and safety on the construction site.

Prism type

Prism total stations, which include both mechanical and robotic versions, are more convenient than other types, such as laser total stations, and are still commonly employed in surveying and building.

Reflector type

Reflectorless total stations are also available for mechanical and robotic total stations, and these more recent total station types are helpful for obtaining measurements in difficult terrain or at locations that are difficult to reach on foot.

They can be utilized in circumstances where the use of a prism would be problematic or hazardous because of their capacity to take measurements without one.

There are many applications for reflectorless total stations, including construction, land surveying, and mapping, and their accuracy and precision are unmatched.

Everything you need to know about the Total Station in Construction