The primary function of the field surveyor is measuring, mapping, and observing. Our most important tool for these purposes is our total station(that’s what I’m using in the top photo).It’s given this name because it incorporates a distance meter for measuring distances and a theodolite for measuring angles into one instrument The total station measuring by sending a beam of infrared light toward a prime, usually supported either by a tripod or a pole (like I ‘m holding in the center photo).The light reflects of the prims directly back to the total station. By measuring the me it takes for the light to return, the total station calculates the distance away that the prism is. The information that the total station calculates the distance away measure (angle and distances) is receded in a data collector (that’s what I’m holding in the boom photograph) for later downloading into a computer in the office. The data collector also doubles as a field computer, enabling us to calculate coordinate geometry in the field and figure out the proper position in which to put our stakes.