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What equipment does a surveyor use?

The main pieces of surveying equipment in use around the world are the following: theodolitemeasuring tapetotal station, 3D scanners, GPS/GNSS, level and rod. Most survey instruments screw onto a tripod when in use.

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Analog or digital tape measures are often used for measurement of smaller distances.


The most common surveying equipment is called a theodolite. Theodolites are used to measure the horizontal and vertical angles between points. Surveyors combine the angle data with distances from a chain or tape measure, and it allows them to triangulate the location of any point using trigonometry.

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