What is a Theodolite Survey?


When it comes to surveying equipment, there is a fair amount of terminology to wade through. From acronyms like Real-time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK GPS) to product names like dumpy or transit level, understanding is half the battle in this exciting industry. 

This brings us to the topic of discussion today, which is the meaning behind the phrase “theodolite survey.” Let’s first look at what both words mean on their own, and then the combined meaning of the phrase as a whole.

Surveying Equipment Terminology: Theodolites & Surveys


A theodolite is a measuring instrument that dates its origins back to the 16th century. It brought innovation to the surveying industry by allowing surveyors to measure both horizontal and vertical axes with the same instrument. 

Though they have changed quite a bit over the last four or five centuries, as you might expect. One innovation is the addition of digital readouts and a base plate to secure the device to a tripod. They have also become more durable and are built of better materials than the original models.


Surveys are used to determine the exact characteristics of a particular plot or parcel of land. Different surveys exist for different purposes, including those used for construction and development projects.


What is a Theodolite Survey?

With the right terminology in hand, determining the meaning behind a “theodolite survey” is easy! It’s a survey that uses a theodolite to gather information and measurements. 

To learn more about what a theodolite survey can do for you, where to find surveying equipment, and the answers to any of your questions, contact Bench Mark US today!

Bench Mark Equipment & Supplies is your team to trust with all your surveying equipment. We have been providing high-quality surveying equipment to land surveyors, engineers, construction, airborne and resource professionals since 2002. This helps establish ourselves as the go-to team in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. Plus, we provide a wide selection of equipment, including global navigation satellite systems, RTK GPS equipment, GNSS receivers, and more. We strive to provide the highest level of customer care and service for everyone. To speak to one of our team today, call us at +1 (888) 286-3204 or email us at [email protected]

About the Author

Nolan has been working in the surveying field since 2017, starting as a part-time student at Bench-Mark while attending the University of Calgary. He know works in technical support and sales helping customers find the right product for them.

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