Uses and Characteristics of the Total Station in Surveying

estacion total en la topografía

The total station is an essential tool in surveying due to its versatility and ease in measuring distances and angles. This tool combines the functions of a theodolite and a distance meter, allowing for the precise measurement of horizontal and vertical angles. Below are the main features and uses of this important tool:

Main Functions

Angle Measurement: The total station is capable of measuring horizontal and vertical angles with high precision, essential for the exact delineation of points on the Earth’s surface.

Distance Measurement: Equipped with laser technology, this device can measure distances with an accuracy of up to 1 mm, facilitating the acquisition of exact data.

Coordinate Calculation: Using trigonometry and triangulation, the total station determines the coordinates of specific points, providing values for (x), (y), and (z) (altitude).

Data Storage: This instrument includes internal memory or an electronic notebook to store and process the collected data, improving efficiency and accuracy in fieldwork.


  • Construction: Fundamental for the planning and execution of construction projects, ensuring that structures are correctly positioned according to designed plans.
  • Cartography: Used in creating detailed maps, providing precise information about the terrain’s topography.
  • Civil Engineering: Essential for the design and construction of infrastructure, ensuring that projects are carried out with precision and according to technical requirements.
  • Topographic Surveys: Crucial for determining the shape and characteristics of the terrain, facilitating informed decision-making in development projects.

Comparison with Other Instruments

Total Station

  • Functions: Combines a theodolite and an electronic distance meter, allowing simultaneous measurement of angles and distances.
  • Uses: Ideal for detailed topographic surveys, construction, and engineering projects.
  • Advantages: High precision, electronic data storage, and the ability to calculate coordinates directly.
  • Disadvantages: More expensive and requires specific training.


  • Functions: Measures horizontal and vertical angles but not distances.
  • Uses: Used in surveying to measure angles in complex terrains.
  • Advantages: Precise in angle measurement, more economical than the total station.
  • Disadvantages: Does not measure distances electronically, which may require additional tools.

Electronic Level

  • Functions: Measures height differences between points using a laser beam or an optical level.
  • Uses: Common in construction for leveling land and structures.
  • Advantages: Easy to use, fast, and precise in height measurement.
  • Disadvantages: Does not measure angles or horizontal distances.

Summary of Differences

  • Total Station: Measures angles and distances electronically, ideal for complex projects.
  • Theodolite: Measures only angles, suitable for tasks that do not require distance measurement.
  • Electronic Level: Measures heights, perfect for leveling in construction.

As noted in this brief compendium of information, the total station stands out as an integral tool in modern surveying, offering precision and efficiency in measuring angles and distances. Its angle measurement, distance measurement, and data storage capabilities also make it useful in construction projects, cartography, civil engineering, and topographic surveys.

Contact us, at Acero Estudio we are specialists in topography surveys and services for the construction and architecture industry.

Planning in a Topographic Survey

estudio topografico para construcción de malecon turistico frente a laguna

Planning is always necessary for any project, but for a topographic survey project, it is essential. The lack of personnel or components can cause a workday to be cut short or incomplete without proper preparation of the staff and equipment.

Here are important tips we implement at Acero Estudio to develop successful topographic studies:

  1. Determining the Area and Objectives of the Survey: It is crucial to clearly define the study area and the specific objectives of the survey. This allows for efficient focusing of efforts and resources and ensures an in-depth understanding of the needs of each project.
  2. Determining the Equipment to Use: Selecting the right equipment is crucial. Common equipment includes total stations, electronic levels, GPS navigators, and drones. The selection of technology depends on the terrain’s characteristics and the project’s objectives.
  3. Planning the Personnel for the Job: It is necessary to assign the appropriate personnel, including the number of surveyors, prism operators, and assistants. Proper planning of the human team ensures that the survey is carried out efficiently and safely.
  4. Collecting Topographic Information: This step involves collecting accurate and detailed data about the terrain. It is one of the most tedious parts, especially when conducting a traditional topographic survey. The quality of the collected information is vital for the project’s success.
  5. Data Processing and Office Work: Once the data is obtained and tabulated in a system, it needs to be processed and analyzed using software. This includes error correction and the generation of detailed reports.
  6. Creating Topographic Information in CAD or BIM Compatible Format: Finally, it is essential to convert the topographic information into formats compatible with computer-aided design (CAD) software or Building Information Modeling (BIM). This facilitates its use by engineers and architects in the subsequent phases of the project.

It is also important to note that surveyors, based on their experience, will provide additional information regarding the project, such as soil types, loose materials on slopes, and other information that adds value and preventive information to the project. Therefore, it is important to hire a specialized company in topographic services, such as Acero Estudio, to ensure the quality and accuracy of the work.

Errors in topography, what they are and what we do to avoid them

como evitamos errores en topografia

In topography, as in any other human activity, failures and errors can arise due to human factors, environmental conditions, system failures, or previously gathered information that was not corroborated.

At Acero Estudio, a company specialized in topographic services, we are fully aware that errors will always occur, but we have tools to detect and correct them promptly, especially since many large-scale works and projects depend on our topographic surveys.

In this regard, we have identified the following types of errors:

  1. Human Errors: These can occur due to poor environmental conditions that affect perception or factors that can temporarily affect the person (such as illness, headaches, or others).To avoid this type of error, we have a data verification protocol where, through a random sample of points, we can determine the accuracy of the study. If the pattern remains within the expected parameters with a minimal level of error, the information is validated; otherwise, the data collection may need to be redone.
  2. System Errors: Sometimes, a system failure, misconfiguration, or loss of proper calibration can lead to incorrect data collection. This is very dangerous but also detectable through protocols where different measurement methods are used, which should result in similar outcomes, allowing us to quickly identify any discrepancies.
  3. Unpredictable Errors: These types of errors are difficult to detect and infrequent. However, with data verification protocols, it is possible to find them quickly.

Remember, if you need to hire a company specialized in topographic studies, topographic surveys, or drone topography, you only need to contact us. We are here to help you consolidate the best information for your construction or architectural project.

Meet Our Team of Topography Specialists

As you already know, Acero Estudio is a company specialized in topography services and topographic surveys. However, despite frequently sharing information about our knowledge and daily activities, we rarely publish photos of our equipment in action.

In this brief article, we share some photos of our staff performing topographic work in urban and rural areas, mining zones, among others. Always remember that the value of our service is significantly based on our team of specialists who are always at your service.

levantamiento topografico en mineria
Topographic survey in a mining zone

asistencia tecnica en construccion de tunel
Technical topographic assistance for tunnel construction

levantamiento topografico en refineria en peru
Topographic survey for industrial area expansion

Topographic survey for hydraulic projects

topografia para evitar inundaciones
Topographic studies for flood prevention due to the El Niño phenomenon

Now that you know more about our work, don’t hesitate to contact us; we are at your service.

What is the Polygonal Method in Topography?

que es la topografia poligonal

Polygonal topography is a surveying method based on creating a model composed of interconnected points that form polygonal shapes. These vertices, which connect to each other, give rise to the term “polygonal,” derived from their geometric forms.

Topography has been used since ancient times to determine the characteristics of terrains. However, its use has been consolidated today thanks to various advancements in topographic measuring instruments, such as GPS technology, which provides great accuracy in representing properties.

Applications of the Polygonal Method

Discover the four main uses of this topographic method:

  • Topographic Surveys: The polygonal method helps us obtain precise data of the terrain, which are necessary for the planning and execution of construction projects.
  • Property Delimitation: Establishing boundaries is important for property cadastre, and the polygonal method helps us demarcate these boundaries, ensuring accurate maps and legal documents.
  • Construction Projects: During the construction process, the polygonal method can be used to verify that the work is being developed according to plans and specifications.
  • Geodesy: In map creation, polygonal topography is essential for good resource management and infrastructure development.

Benefits of the Polygonal Method

The polygonal method offers numerous benefits like:

  • High Precision
  • Versatility
  • Efficiency
  • Reliability

Now that you know a bit more about the polygonal technique, we invite you to contact us. We are Acero Estudio, a consulting firm specializing in topography services and drone topography. We offer a wide range of solutions for the construction, architecture, infrastructure, and mining industries.

Contact us and benefit from working with experience, professionalism, and the guarantee of precise work. Our 25 years of experience and projects in Europe and Latin America back us up.

Our Drone Services

servicios con drones

Drones have become essential tools in the construction and architecture sectors. Their ability to perform complex tasks while avoiding human risks, combined with the use of increasingly advanced cameras and sensors, makes this technology highly useful for data collection and project monitoring.

Acero Estudio, aware of the potential of this expanding technology, made an aggressive approach a decade ago and began training in the use of drones and sensors. This has enabled us to offer our clients maximum value from drone services in Europe and Latin America.

In this regard, we have successfully provided high-value-added services in key areas such as:

Topographic Surveys with Drones

This involves using the drone’s cameras and sensors to capture high-resolution aerial images of a specific terrain. These images are then processed to generate precise maps and 3D models. This method is faster, less expensive, and more accurate than traditional surveying methods.

Photogrammetry with Drones

This process involves photographing large areas of land to create detailed maps and 3D models of these zones. The images are overlapped and processed using specialized software to extract precise geospatial information. It is a very useful service for construction projects and urban planning.

LiDAR Services

This technology uses lasers to achieve a precise topographic model, even in areas with dense vegetation. The data obtained with LiDAR allows for the creation of detailed topographic maps, which are necessary for many types of projects, such as hydraulic engineering in forested areas.

Construction Monitoring with Drones

We monitor the progress of your projects objectively and in real-time. Drones can capture images and videos at regular intervals, providing project managers with a detailed view of progress. This helps identify potential problems and ensures that the project stays on schedule.

Now that you know more about our drone services, do not hesitate to contact us. We are Acero Estudio, a company specialized in services for the construction, engineering, architecture, infrastructure, and mining sectors in Spain and Peru.

Benefits and Qualities of Triangulation in Surveying

triangulacion topografica

Triangulation is a traditional surveying technique that allows us to measure distances and angles on the Earth’s surface. However, it has been gradually replaced by more modern surveying techniques that utilize GNSS technology, drone surveying, etc.

Although the use of traditional surveying has decreased, it is still necessary in some cases where satellite technology is absent or where population density requires it. Here are some key points on the importance of topographic triangulation:

Provides Accuracy in Measurement

This technique allows us to measure distances from the projected vertices of triangles and calculates the sides using trigonometric formulas. This type of measurement is ideal for large areas in construction projects, agriculture, or urban planning that require precise data.

Allows for Defining Control Points

Through triangulation, it is possible to define geodetic control points that will be useful for future measurements. These points are also highly useful as references for integration with previous work in a unified system.

Covers Large Areas

As mentioned, there are more modern techniques for developing large areas than triangulation (check our surveying services); however, in cases where technology is lacking, triangulation is particularly useful for studying large tracts of land.

Serves as a Basis for Navigation Systems

The technique of triangulation has been fundamental in the development of both terrestrial and maritime navigation systems. Even today, in the GPS era, triangulation continues to be used for the calibration and verification of these systems.

Applications in Geodesy and New Technologies

Geometric triangulation measurements can be integrated into geodetic systems, making them ideal for cartography and the development of scientific knowledge related to plate tectonics and geophysics.

Additionally, remember that triangulation adapts well to integration with new technologies such as GPS, drones, and geographic information systems, further improving the precision and efficiency of topographic surveys.

Learn more about these types of services on our website, Acero Estudio, and remember that we are specialists in surveying and consulting services for the architecture and construction sector.

Importance of Control Points in Surveying and Geodesy

ingeniero calculando el desnivel del terreno en la construcción de la carretera y tunel chacahuaro en lima

Control points in surveying and geodesy are crucial as they serve as references that enhance accuracy across a wide range of geospatial applications. Here are the reasons why control points are fundamental in these fields:

  1. AccuracyControl points provide a precise basis for conducting topographic and geodetic measurements. They ensure that the obtained coordinates and altitudes are accurate, which is essential for any engineering, construction, or mapping project.
  2. Data ConsistencyBy using control points, we ensure that various teams can maintain data consistency over time and across different measurements. This is important for monitoring geographical and structural changes over long periods.
  3. Reference for SurveysControl points serve as fixed references for topographic surveys, allowing measurements to be comparable and repeatable. This is crucial for infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and buildings.
  4. Equipment CalibrationControl points allow for the calibration of measurement equipment, such as total stations and GPS, ensuring that instruments maintain their accuracy throughout their field use.
  5. Multi-Disciplinary ProjectsControl points provide references that can be cross-verified even when different types of measurements are used, preventing discrepancies and errors.
  6. Facilitating GIS Technology UseControl points assist in the integration and analysis of data in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), enhancing the accuracy of data and its collection.
  7. Cost ReductionBy providing a reliable reference, control points reduce the need for repeated measurements, increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs in surveying and geodetic projects.

To ensure that your projects benefit from the precision and accuracy that surveying provides, contact Acero Estudio, a company specializing in topographic surveys in Peru and Spain.

Examples of Projects Where Topography is Vital

proyectos donde la topografía es vital

Topography is essential and highly recommended for any construction project, from a house to the vast road infrastructures of countries. Below are examples where topography plays a vital role in project implementation:

Road Construction

In the planning and execution of this infrastructure, topographical studies allow determining the alignment, gradient, and curves necessary for the construction of efficient and safe roads.

Urban Infrastructure Construction

In urban planning, topographical work enables the proper planning and design of streets in non-floodable areas with adequate drainage, ensuring correct spatial distribution.

Hydraulic Projects

Topography and its understanding of levels and gradients are crucial for any hydraulic project. A topographical survey is necessary for the design of dams, channels, and irrigation systems, as it allows engineers to understand the gradients, enabling them to make the necessary calculations for safe and functional hydraulic infrastructures.

Building Construction

In construction, well-executed topographical work helps to understand the terrain, project sanitary services, plan earthworks, or plan based on the area configuration.


Topography is very important in mining. Knowledge of the surface allows monitoring the progress of extraction works and controlling earth movements, which are used to calculate the economic efficiency of mining operations. It also helps optimize operations according to areas, ensuring operator safety in challenging terrains.

Railway Infrastructure Development

For this type of infrastructure, topography allows for an adequate projection of the railway, considering gradients, curves, and terrain stability.

Wind and Solar Energy Projects

It helps to fully understand the terrain characteristics, enabling engineers to locate wind turbines or solar panels in optimal locations to achieve maximum efficiency of the generators.


Sewer networks often utilize the terrain’s gravity. Topography ensures that they are designed appropriately to avoid future problems.

These examples provide a broad overview of the importance of topography in the planning and execution of various types of works. Contact Acero Estudio for more information about our topography services, drone topography, and LIDAR. We are specialists at your service.

Factors to Evaluate Before Conducting a Topographic Survey

factors in topografia

Conducting a topographic survey requires flexibility and adaptation. In addition to having experience, the surveying team must undertake proper planning, select the right technology, and schedule a work scheme according to the objectives of each project.

Below, we will explore the factors that influence the execution of a topographic survey. Always remember that these guidelines are relative, and while we attempt to generalize them for study purposes, nature almost always has more than one capricious characteristic that will require the ingenuity and initiative of the survey teams in charge.

Vegetation Factor

The density of vegetation is a crucial factor in conducting a topographic survey. In densely vegetated areas such as forests or jungles, carrying out a topographic survey becomes an arduous task.

Similarly, ground cover such as grass or weeds affects data accuracy. Trees, both coniferous and deciduous, can complicate the use of aerial sensors since the density of the cover and the resolution of the required product will determine the technology to be used. Acero Estudio suggests the use of LIDAR for greater accuracy in results.

Construction Factor

Houses, buildings, bridges, overpasses, and other man-made structures affect a topographic survey because they obscure natural terrain features such as slopes and water runoff areas.

Surveyors must use photogrammetric techniques in areas with constructions. It is worth noting that in areas with tall buildings and little space between them, it is more complicated due to the greater overlap of images.

Water Factor

The presence of water in the study area demands the use of specialized technology. In some cases, LIDAR is recommended; however, this technology has certain limitations beyond a certain depth. Additionally, in some places, the coastline changes throughout the day, hindering the work.

Besides the factors imposed by nature, there are other intrinsic factors of the surveying discipline that can present challenges.

Technology Precision Limitations

Not all instruments are suitable for all areas or conditions. For example, drone surveying can be inaccurate in densely vegetated areas where LIDAR technology is more recommended.

Instrument Position Accuracy

This factor is influenced by the experience of the surveying team, who must handle the instruments proficiently. These “flight hours” will impact the quality and accuracy of the survey, as well as the speed of completion.

Why Acero Estudio is Your Best Choice for Surveying Services

We are experts in conducting topographic surveys on any type of terrain and extension because we have a team of engineers specializing in topography, equipped with total stations, advanced sensor drones, and LIDAR technology, among others. This allows us to work in any type of geography, regardless of difficulty.

nuestro equipo de profesionales especializados en servicio de topografia, levantamiento topografico, consultoria bim y servicios cad

Visit our website for more information and request our surveying services, available in Peru and Spain. We are here to help you carry out your projects with the highest precision and efficiency!