Two types of theodolites are the repeating theodolite and the direction theodolite. The repeating theodolite takes angle readings on a graduated scale. The direction theodolite takes readings on a circle at every direction and is useful for triangulation. Both types of theodolites are used to measure vertical and horizontal angles.
Theodolites are used in the construction and engineering industry. They are useful in mapping and surveying applications. The basic components of a theodolite are a telescope that is connected to devices that measure angles. A total station is similar to a theodolite in function but is equipped with more advanced features, such as remote operation capability and readings that are stored in a computer.