Surveying GPS/GNSS, level and rod

Survey Says

Tools of the Trade

Russell Hammond - Friday, August 03, 2018

In your daily travels have you ever encounter people randomly on the side of the road with some sort of camera looking machine on tripods set up? Are they actually taking people's pictures?

It never fails when out surveying in a public area, there’s always people thinking land surveyors are taking their picture. When this equipment is set up it can look a lot like a photoshoot. However, there’s no need to stop and smile or strike a pose, because this equipment can’t capture your picture.

What are those tripod machines doing?

Well, what often looks like a camera on top of the tripod is a measuring tool. This one pictured below is called a Trimble Robotic Total Station. This piece of equipment is controlled by radio and Bluetooth. It shoots out a laser that bounces off a prism pole that is transported throughout the area being surveyed. This provides certain distances, angles, and depths back to the Total Station and is stored within the Date Collector. 

Once back in the office, the Data Collector that is pictured above is paired with a drawing software system that can differ with each surveying company. This software system is often used to create a drawing from the information that was recorded out in the field. These drawing programs are tools to provide the finished products of Pre-Existing Conditions, Location Surveys, and Site Plans to name a few.


From field to finish, land surveyors are an essential part of every job. You can see a list of all the services that we provide and read the full descriptions to get you started on your next project. To see how different equipment is used in the field check out our work.

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