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The Advantages of a Theodolite

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A theodolite is a measuring tool, specifically designed to work with angles. Used by engineers to aid in proper building techniques, theodolites making repeating angles much easier than standard measuring methods. These devices ensure that angles make a safe and accurate structure. Another tool that performs similar functions is a transit. The theodolite, however, has many advantages over the transit.

Repeating Theodolite

There are many types of theodolites. though there's only one standard transit. The repeating theodolite has an accuracy advantage by utilizing averaging. This design makes the measurement multiple times from two separate points to determine the angle. It then takes the average of the readings to determine the most accurate angle between the two points. A standard transit is capable of only taking measurements. You can hand average by measuring multiple times, but the theodolite does all of this for you.

Electronic Digital Theodolite

An electronic digital theodolite automatically reads horizontal and vertical angles, eliminating the manual reading of scales on graduated circles, removing the possibility of human error. This device has many advantages, including the speed it obtains and processes information and you need fewer instruments to make the same readings.

Compact and Light

A theodolite is also much more compact and light. This makes it easier to transport not only from job to job, but also to move around to make measurements. If you have extensive measuring to do, this can significantly cut the time it takes to complete a job. When working with angles, the ease of moving the machine can affect the outcome of the measurements. This also adds to the accuracy of the machine.

Combined Machine

An electronic digital theodolite can be combined with an electronic distance measurement instrument. This lets the combined machine automatically record angles and slope distance from just one set-up. The slope distances can then be instantly converted to horizontal and vertical components.


Pharaba Witt has worked as a writer in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. She has written for websites such as USA Today, Red Beacon, LIVESTRONG, WiseGeek, Web Series Network, Nursing Daily and major film studios. When not traveling she enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, snowboarding, ice climbing and scuba diving. She is constantly researching equipment and seeking new challenges.

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