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Both axes(vertical and horizontal) of a theodolite are equipped with graduated circles that can be read through magnifying lenses. The reading of these circles gives the horizontal as well as the vertical distance from the instrument station i.e. peg and the theodolite's lens position in the space respectively. You can find these distance by using simple engineering mathematics (or maybe high-school geometry). Are you clear? Or should I explain more?
I do not understand.Is the theodolite used to measure angles or distances directly on the field?
Theodolite is used for measuring the angle (vertical and horizontal both of which are directly read from the instrument) and distance (by the intercept reading of the staff and using simple geometrical formula). We take reading (angle and staff intercept) on the field and calculate the horizontal and vertical distance (usually from the both faces 0 and 90 to check the accuracy). Then these points and the station point are plotted. Have you used theodolite for survey ??? There are three types of theodolite :(1) Vernier or Transit Theodolite (2) Digital Theodolite (3) Total Station . Out of these three theodolite, I personally prefer "Total Station" (precision:0.1-10 degree) whereas I strongly recommend "Transit theodolite" (precision:10-20degree and operates on the principle of vernier calliper) or "Digital theodolite"(precision 1-10degree) for beginners. The choice of theodolite can also be done based on the nature of survey. I have carried out survey using Total Station (for river cross section) and Digital theodolite (for land survey). Also used transit theodolite for a building survey practise. If you have any question regarding the instrument, data collection, plotting, survey, design or anything, feel free to ask me.
I am a geomatic engineering student in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.
Hi. I am a practising civil engineer in Nepal, Asia.