How is a total station different from an electronic theodolite?
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A total station is a sophisticated electronic instrument that combines the features of an electronic theodolite (an electronic instrument used to measure angles in horizontal and vertical planes) with that of an electronic distance meter (which measures distances) to calculate the coordinates of points and to make accurate measurements.
A total station typically has several additional features, including digital displays, built-in data storage, on-board computers and communications capabilities. Additionally, a total station is capable of taking horizontal and vertical angles simultaneously and can be used with a variety of data collection software.