The advantages of the Total Station electronic surveying system are that it computes the horizontal distance measured, average of multiple angles measured and average of the sloping distance. As an electronic device, it is able to store all data collected in the field for later use.
Surveying used the same basic trigonometric equations for hundreds of years, but the Total Station changed everything. Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology allows the Total Station to find its position down to less than a meter of accuracy. Traditional means always required a line of sight between the two points being measured. This could have been obscured by trees, topography or many other factors. The station uses scanning electro-optical technology to estimate distance and do calculations. It also has image capture technology that can capture images from the survey sight for later use. The user can operate the station remotely while at the target point. This gives greater flexibility In use of the station, and increases surveyor productivity.
The station also collects data for later use and prevents data loss through wet notes and other mishaps in the field. Data from the station can be downloaded via computer interface and kept on a hard drive. The Total Station is a complete GPS land surveyor package.