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How to Stake Out Points and Profile Boards With a Total Station

Staking out points with a Leica FlexLine total station

To create an as-built plan, the position and height of points are determined by measuring angles and distances. To do this, set your instrument up on any prominent point to create a local coordinate system.

Enter the coordinates as (X=0, Y=0, instrument height). Select a second prominent point for the purposes of orientation. After this has been targeted, the horizontal circle should be set to zero.

If a coordinate system already exists, set up the instrument on a known point within it and set the horizontal circle to a second known point.

staking out points with a total station
Staking Out Points

  1. Set up the instrument at a known point and set the horizontal circle.
  2. Enter the coordinates of the point to be staked out. (The program automatically calculates direction and distance to the point – the two parameters needed for staking out.)
  3. Turn the total station until the horizontal circle reads zero.
  4. Position the reflector at this point (point P).
  5. Measure the distance. (The difference in the distance D to the point P will be displayed automatically.)

The coordinates of the points to be staked out can be transferred beforehand from your computer to the total station. Under these circumstances, you only need to select the point number. If two points are known, you can also use the resection method to set up and orient your instrument.

Staking out points with a total station

Staking Out Profile Boards

In the example below, profile boards are to be erected parallel to the proposed walls of a large building and at distances of A and B, respectively, from the boundaries.

  1. Establish a baseline AB parallel to the left-hand boundary and at a freely selectable distance C.
  2. Mark point A at the defined distance D from the upper boundary. It will be the first location for the total station.
  3. Using a ranging pole, mark point B at the end of the baseline.
  4. Set up the total station on point A, target point B, and set out the points A1, A2, and A3 in this alignment in accordance with the planned length of the side of the building.
  5. With point B sighted, set the horizontal circle to zero, turn the total station by 90° and set out the second line AC with the points A4, A5, and A6.

Staking out boards with a total station

Some total stations, such as the Leica FlexLine series, have a Reference Line application. This application allows you to complete all of the above steps more efficiently and conveniently, and is the easiest way to stake out profile boards. In most cases, only one instrument setup is required.