Maximising Accuracy and Efficiency in Surveying: A Guide to Choosing the Right Total Station

Maximising Accuracy and Efficiency in Surveying: A Guide to Choosing the Right Total Station

The best Total Station for you

If you're a surveyor or construction worker, having the right total station is crucial to your job. With numerous options on the market, choosing the perfect total station can be a daunting task. To make the right choice, you need to consider important factors like accuracy, range, data storage, connectivity, and more. In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you select the best total station for your surveying and construction needs. Whether you have years of experience or just starting out, this guide will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and work efficiently.

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Accuracy is a key factor to consider when choosing a total station for your surveying needs. The accuracy of a total station refers to the precision of the measurements taken by the device, which is crucial for accurate project planning and execution.

There are several factors that can affect the accuracy of a total station, including angle accuracy, distance accuracy, and measurement time. Angle accuracy refers to the accuracy of the angles measured by the device, while distance accuracy refers to the accuracy of the distances measured. Measurement time refers to the amount of time it takes for the device to take a measurement, with longer measurement times leading to reduced accuracy levels.

When choosing a total station, it's important to consider these factors and choose a device that meets your accuracy requirements. Look for total stations with high accuracy levels, typically stated in millimetres, and ensure they meet the requirements of your specific surveying tasks.


Range is a critical factor to consider when choosing a total station for your surveying needs. Range refers to the maximum distance that the device can accurately measure. The range of a total station is a significant factor in determining the suitability of the device for various surveying tasks.

There are two types of range options available in total stations: reflectorless and prism-based measurements. Reflectorless total stations can measure distances without the use of a reflector, making them ideal for measuring distances in hard-to-reach or hazardous areas. Prism-based total stations require the use of a reflector, but they can measure longer distances and offer higher accuracy levels.

When choosing a total station, consider the range requirements of your surveying projects. If you're measuring distances in hard-to-reach areas, a reflectorless total station may be the best option. If you require longer distance measurements, a prism-based total station may be a better choice.

What is Reflectorless measurement in a Total Station?

Reflectorless measurement is a type of total station measurement that allows you to measure distances without the need for a reflector. Instead, the total station measures distances by reflecting its laser beam off the surface of the target. This technology saves time, money, and makes total station surveying more efficient.

Reflectorless measurement makes total station surveying more versatile. With traditional total stations, you can only measure distances to targets that have a reflector. But with reflectorless measurement, you can measure distances to a variety of targets, including buildings, trees, and other structures.

Robotic Total Stations vs. Non-Robotic Total Stations

A robotic total station, as the name suggests, is equipped with robotic technology that allows the instrument to be remotely controlled by a data collector or computer. This provides surveyors with a hands-free option, freeing them up to focus on other tasks while the instrument measures and records data. This results in higher efficiency and accuracy, as surveyors can work more quickly and are less likely to make mistakes.

Manual total stations may be preferred over robotic stations for their lower cost and simplicity in use in areas with limited budget and little need for advanced features.

On-board software: A Key Factor in Choosing a Total Station

On-board software plays a crucial role in the performance of a total station. It determines the functionality and capabilities of the instrument. The software should be user-friendly and easy to navigate, allowing for efficient data collection and analysis. It's important to choose a total station with software that supports the specific surveying needs of your projects. Some popular features to look for include real-time data transfer, data storage, and advanced data processing capabilities. Make sure to also consider software compatibility with other tools you may use, such as computer programs and mapping software. A good on-board software can make all the difference in the success of your surveying projects.

Data Storage

In total station surveying, data storage is critical. It's essential to have a reliable and secure place to store all your surveying data, so you can access it quickly and easily when you need it.

There are two main options for data storage in total stations: internal memory and removable storage devices. Internal memory is built into the total station, and it's where all your surveying data is stored. This option is convenient because you don't have to worry about carrying around an extra storage device.

Removable storage devices, such as SD cards, are also an option for data storage in total stations. This option is ideal for those who need to store a lot of data, as removable storage devices usually have a much larger capacity than internal memory.

Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Connectivity

Wireless connectivity, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, is an important feature in total stations for surveying as it allows surveyors to transfer measurement data wirelessly.

The benefits of wireless connectivity include increased efficiency and the ability to transfer measurement data in real-time.

Different options for wireless connectivity are available and surveyors should choose a total station that offers the right type of connectivity to meet their needs.


The display is an important feature in total stations for surveying. It's where you'll view all your surveying data, so it's crucial to have a clear and easy-to-read display.

There are two main types of displays available in total stations: LCD and LED screens. LCD screens are the more traditional option and are known for their clarity and reliability. LED screens are a newer option and are known for their high brightness and sharp images.

IP Rating

IP rating stands for Ingress Protection and refers to the level of protection a total station offers against dust and water. Different IP ratings are available and range from IP54, which offers basic protection against dust and water, to IP68 which offers the highest level of protection against dust and water.

Choosing the right IP rating is important for surveyors to ensure their total station is protected from harsh environmental conditions.

Size, Weight and Battery

The size and weight of a total station are important factors for surveyors as they impact the ease of use and portability of the total station.

Battery life is an important factor in total stations for surveying as it affects the efficiency and duration of the measurement data, different battery life options are available, ranging from short battery life to longer battery life.

The Importance of Ease of Use in Total Stations

Last but not least is ease of use, as a surveyor, you know that accuracy and efficiency are key components of successful land surveying. One factor that can greatly impact both aspects is the ease of use of your total station.

A total station with a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls can save you time and ensure that you are able to take accurate measurements quickly and easily. From navigating menus to adjusting settings, a total station that is easy to use can make all the difference in the field.

When choosing a total station, consider the features that are most important to you and your work. Some total stations may have a more streamlined interface, while others may offer more advanced controls and functions. The right choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Expert Assistance for Choosing the Best Total Station for Your Needs

It is important to choose the right total station for your surveying needs. GlobalPos understands the complexities involved in selecting the right tool for the job, which is why we offer a range of top-quality total stations to choose from. Our knowledgeable sales team is always available to assist you in making the best decision for your specific needs. We are committed to providing you with a total station that will help you work efficiently, accurately, and effectively. With our expertise and range of options, you can be confident that you will find the right total station for your surveying needs.

Check out our selection of total stations here

Contact us, we would be happy to help you with the best total station for your projects