land surveying equipment

Best Surveying Equipment Every Surveying Engineer Needs

In this article, we're going to deep dive into some of the best surveying equipment out there that every surveying engineer should be familiar with. Whether you're a novice in the field or an experienced professional, these tools are essential for accurate mapping and measuring. Let's get started!

Total station - Leica TS60

 Leica TS60 Surveying total station


Caption: "Leica TS60 Surveying Total Station"

The Leica Nova TS60 is celebrated as the world's most accurate total station. Designed to tackle the most challenging projects, it boasts an unprecedented angular accuracy of 0.5" (sub-second) and distance accuracy of 0.6mm + 1ppm (sub-millimeter). These advanced specifications assure unmatched performance even in the harshest conditions—rain, fog, dust, intense sunlight, heat shimmer, or reflections. If the line of sight is disrupted, the TS60 offers the fastest re-lock in the industry.

The TS60 comes equipped with Leica Captivate, an intuitive onboard software incorporating a suite of easy-to-use apps that address all measurement tasks. This advanced software transforms complex data into realistic, workable 3D models.

To enhance productivity, the TS60 integrates Dynamic Lock functionality, which automatically locks onto moving prisms, thus eliminating manual waiting time. Also, with the revolutionary Auto Height feature, you can set up your instrument quicker with a mere button press, getting you started on your next project more swiftly.

Here are some scenarios where the Leica Nova TS60 becomes indispensable:

  • Construction Stakeout Tasks: The TS60's high precision makes it ideal for staking out design data or guiding prefabricated elements to their designated position.
  • Reference Network Measurements: For construction and infrastructure projects, defining the reference network frame with precise angle and distance measurements becomes feasible.
  • Building and Structure Measurements: It comes handy in bridge condition or clearance analysis, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and as-built measurements.
  • Prefabricated Element Checks: The TS60 is perfect for as-built checks and dimension control in shipbuilding and wind turbine construction.
  • Monitoring Measurements: It is ideal for either permanent or campaign monitoring of bridges, buildings, and steel structures.
  • Slab Track Installation and Railway Clearance Surveys: It ensures accurate control of slab track installation and clearance surveys in railway projects.

In conclusion, the Leica Nova TS60 is an essential tool for any serious surveying engineer who requires the highest degree of accuracy and reliability in their surveying work.


GNSS RTK Rover - Leica GS18 T

 Leica GNSS RTK Rover GS18


Caption: "GNSS RTK Rover - Leica GS18 T"


With the Leica GS18 T, forget the bubble and focus on your task. This GNSS smart antenna is a genuine tilt-compensating solution immune to magnetic disturbances and free from calibration. The fusion of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) makes this breakthrough technology possible. For GS18, T represents tilt.

The GS18 T functions right out of the box and can serve as both a rover and a base, offering instant operation and flexibility. This system partners with the Leica Captivate field software, providing an intuitive platform for managing and visualizing data in 2D and 3D, across diverse applications and industries.

In the realm of tilt compensation, the GS18 T stands unrivalled. It allows measurements with a levelled pole while storing the tilt values, ensuring accuracy and trust in your data. With either an SD card or internal memory, users have the flexibility to log raw data as per convenience.

The GS18 T embodies superior measurement quality by tracking multi-frequency signals, coupled with an excellent GNSS antenna and a 20 Hz position update rate. With Captivate's interference mitigation and multipath reduction features, it promises enhanced GNSS signal tracking quality, even in harsh environments, improving RTK availability and accuracy.

The antenna also incorporates Active Customer Care (ACC), a global network of experienced professionals at your fingertips to navigate through any challenge. This, along with a customizable Customer Care Package (CCP), ensures comprehensive coverage, anytime, anywhere.

The Leica GS18 T isn't merely a GNSS smart antenna—it's a game-changer in geodetic surveying, an indispensable tool that makes complex tasks more efficient and straightforward. Its high accuracy, speed, and portability, even in challenging environments, makes it an essential asset for any geodetic task.

Controller - Leica CS20

Leica CS20 Controller


Caption: "Leica CS20 Controller"

Experience the apex of control, convenience, and mobility with the robust, high-performance Leica CS20 controller. The CS20, adorned with Red Dot award-winning product design, allows you to take your entire office on the go, turning complex data processing tasks into enjoyable experiences.

Touch screen technology and a stunning 3D view revolutionize your Leica Viva GNSS and Leica Nova scanning experiences. Moreover, the CS20 incorporates an integrated DISTO™ for accurate electronic distance measuring and features radio and antenna for long-range robotic total station control.

The CS20 comes equipped with the game-changing Leica Captivate field software, enabling the capture and management of complex data with a simple swipe. It transforms intricate data into the most realistic and workable 3D models. With user-friendly apps and familiar touch technology, all types of measured and design data can be viewed in all dimensions, catering to various industries and applications.

Leica CS20 also offers Active Customer Care (ACC), giving you access to a global network of professionals to guide you through any challenge at a click. It provides superior technical service, consultancy support, and online services for data transfer directly from the field, thus eliminating delays and avoiding costly site revisits. A tailored Customer Care Package controls your costs, providing peace of mind that you're covered anytime, anywhere.

The Leica CS20 controller, combined with easy-to-use software and instruments you trust, forms an all-encompassing solution for your most demanding geodetic tasks. This epitomizes the Leica Captivate Experience, delivering not just a product but an intuitive, robust, and reliable solution. 

Digital Levels - Leica LS15 and LS10

 Leica Digital Level LS15


Caption: "Leica LS15 Digital Leveler"

Experience unrivalled efficiency and accuracy in levelling tasks with the Leica LS15 and LS10 digital levels. Offering automated functions and a stellar 0.2mm accuracy, these levels let users display their measuring prowess and effectively execute any project.

These digital levels enhance the entire measurement process through features like autofocus and touchscreen displays with clean layouts. Common levelling concerns, such as misreading the staff or transcription errors, are eliminated. Offering highly reliable results via understandable line flows and color visuals, these levels make daily tasks a more enjoyable experience.

Benefit from Leica Geosystems' experience as the pioneers and industry leaders of digital levels. These instruments have been refined to an art form, delivering faster results with the highest accuracy.

The Leica LS digital levels extend their functionality beyond the field. Once your data is transferred to the office, Leica Infinity processes your results without any hassle. This intuitive software offers easy-to-understand displays of complex levelling data.

Through Active Customer Care (ACC), a global network of professionals is a click away to expertly guide you through any challenge. Enjoy superior technical service, excellent consultancy support, and online services for sending and receiving data directly from the field. Control your costs with a tailored Customer Care Package, assuring peace of mind that you're covered anytime, anywhere. The Leica LS15 and LS10 are not just digital levels; they're comprehensive solutions for all your levelling needs.

Best Surveying Prisms for 4 Different Surveying Scenarios

In the complex and detail-oriented world of surveying, selecting the right prism can significantly affect the accuracy and efficiency of your work. Depending on the specific surveying scenario, different prisms excel in certain areas, offering distinct advantages. Here, we explore the best surveying prisms suitable for four different surveying scenarios, offering you insights into their unique features, and guiding you towards making an informed decision for your specific needs.

Topographic Surveying

Leica GRZ122 360 Degree Prism

Caption: "Leica GRZ122 - 360 Degree Prism"

The Leica GRZ122 360-Degree Prism sets a new standard in topographical surveying. Specifically designed for Leica Total Stations, this prism brings unprecedented levels of accuracy, range, and flexibility to your surveying toolkit.

The GRZ122 boasts a unique Height Offset of 86.0mm and a Prism Constant of +28.1mm, ensuring precision in each measurement taken. Furthermore, the Beam Deviation of just 3 arcsec guarantees exactness even in challenging surveying conditions.

With its impressive Working Range of 2,000 ft. (600m), the GRZ122 can cover substantial surveying areas without losing precision or efficiency. Whether dealing with large scale or intricate topographical surveys, this prism has got you covered.

The GRZ122's 5/4" Thread Mount allows for easy installation and secure positioning, while its high-quality Copper Coating enhances durability and longevity in all weather conditions. Its sturdy build and coating allow the GRZ122 to maintain optimal performance even in harsh environments.

Furthermore, the GRZ122 comes with a Carrying Bag. Not only does this enhance the prism's portability, but it also provides an additional layer of protection, prolonging the life of the prism.

In conclusion, the Leica GRZ122 360-Degree Prism offers an unbeatable combination of precision, durability, and versatility. Whether you're surveying wide expanses or targeting specific points, this prism ensures you're equipped with the best tool for the job. The GRZ122 isn't just a prism - it's a game-changer in topographical surveying.


Construction Surveying    

Leica GMP111 and MPR122 Prisms

Caption: "Leica GMP111 and MPR122 - Mini Prisms"

In the intricate world of construction surveying, tools must offer more than just precision—they must embody flexibility and adaptability. Among such versatile tools, the Leica MPR122 and GMP111 Mini Prisms take the spotlight, effectively redefining the dynamics of field operations.

The compact size of the Leica MPR122 belies its robust performance. This mini prism can be trusted in the most challenging scenarios, from towering skyscrapers to sprawling infrastructures. Its full-circle visibility permits measurements from any angle, an invaluable asset when navigating complex structures or tight corners. This feature eliminates the risk of overlooking critical data, thereby enhancing overall accuracy and productivity. With an impressive working range, this prism is your unwavering partner on large-scale projects, irrespective of the environment.

The Leica GMP111, meanwhile, excels in terms of versatility. Whether stationed on uneven terrain or amidst the steel maze of a construction site, its unique four-section pole and point mount cater to every situation, ensuring that the prism's accuracy remains uncompromised. The long working range of the GMP111 extends its prowess to the vast expanses of a project site, making it an ideal tool for comprehensive surveys. Its beam deviation maintains a fine balance between precision and response time, facilitating swift and precise measurements.

For construction professionals, these prisms are not just instruments—they are game-changers. Whether dealing with infrastructural development, land surveying, or building constructions, the Leica MPR122 and GMP111 Mini Prisms have consistently proven to be indispensable assets, capable of delivering high-quality results time after time. The blend of accuracy, flexibility, and efficiency they offer ensures that they remain the preferred choice for any construction surveying task.

Monitoring Surveying - Tunnel, Highway, and Bridge Measurements

Leica GMP104 and GPR112 Monitoring Prisms

Caption: "Leica GMP104 and GPR112 - Monitoring Prisms"

In the demanding environments of tunnel, highway, and bridge construction, specific tasks require highly accurate and reliable tools. This is where monitoring prisms and mini prisms, such as Leica's GPR112 and GMP104 Regular, stand out.

The GPR112 model is engineered with an absolute constant of -34.4mm and a beam deviation of 5 arcsec, making it perfect for precise measurement tasks in these challenging scenarios. Its L-frame holder and versatile mount offer flexibility in different setup contexts.

On the other hand, the GMP104 Regular, with its prism constant of +8.94mm (for Leica) and beam deviation of 5 arcsec, promises excellent measurement accuracy. The package includes 10 prisms, each featuring a stainless steel screw and metal holder for secure positioning.

These prisms play a vital role in the monitoring process, a crucial element in infrastructure projects. Monitoring enables the detection of movements or deformations in structures, which could signify potential instability or stress. With their highly accurate measurements, these prisms help ensure that the structure is built according to design specifications and that any deviations or anomalies are immediately detected, promoting safety and efficiency in construction. 

Surveying Network Measurements with High-Quality Equipment

Leica GPR121 Standard Circular Prism attached on Carrier and Tribrach

Caption: "Leica GPR121 attached on Leica Carrier and Tribrach"

When it comes to the precise science of geodetic network measurements, the use of standard circular prisms, such as the Leica GPR121, is a universally accepted practice. These prisms are the backbone of accurate surveying, providing reliable performance under various conditions. The GPR121 shines with its impressive working range of up to 3500m, ensuring comprehensive coverage of large geodetic networks. Its low beam deviation guarantees precise measurements, while the sturdy Leica mount and the copper coating ensure long-term durability and optimum performance.

However, precise surveying isn't solely dependent on the prism used. Equally important is the connection between the instrument and its base - a role fulfilled by the tribrach and carrier equipment. An exemplar in this category is the Leica GDF322. This model ensures a seamless connection between your surveying instruments and the tripod, significantly improving the accuracy of measurements. With its universal compatibility and precision-enhancing design, the GDF322 is an indispensable tool in every geodetic engineer's kit.

And let's not overlook the importance of a robust and reliable tripod in the geodetic surveying equation. The tripod forms the stable base that enables precision measurements. It should be sturdy, offering excellent vibration damping characteristics, yet light enough for easy transportation across the survey site. Selecting the right tripod is critical for achieving high-quality, precise results in geodetic network measurements.

Together, these tools – the Leica GPR121 prism, the Leica GDF322 tribach, and a high-quality tripod – constitute the perfect toolkit for any geodetic engineer aiming for top-notch accuracy and efficiency in their geodetic network measurements. Their superior performance and reliability underpin the successful execution of complex geodetic projects, paving the way for accurate and comprehensive survey results. 


Surveying equipment forms the backbone of successful, precise geodetic work. As we have seen, the selection of the right tools - from prisms to tribrachs to tripods - can greatly enhance the accuracy and efficiency of geodetic network measurements. However, as technology continues to evolve, so does the landscape of surveying tools.

With advancements in technology, these tools are constantly being refined for better precision and ease of use. The surveying tools we have mentioned stand out among the myriad of options in the market for their exceptional performance across a variety of surveying tasks. Whether you are a novice in the field or a seasoned geodetic engineer, familiarizing yourself with these cutting-edge tools is a crucial step towards achieving success in your geodetic endeavors.

For further reading and in-depth exploration of these topics, we recommend the following blog posts from Metricop:

  1. Land Surveying Supplies and Equipment: Get a broader understanding of the variety of equipment used in land surveying and learn how to choose the right tools for your needs.
  2. Which Prisms are Used in Land Surveying: Dive deeper into the world of prisms - an integral part of any surveying work - and discover the different types used in land surveying.
  3. When and Why You Need Monitoring Surveys: Uncover the scenarios that necessitate monitoring surveys and the critical role they play in maintaining structural safety and integrity.

Stay informed, stay accurate, and continue to explore the exciting world of geodesy!

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