A 3D laser scanner is an electronic instrument that acquires spatial coordinates as a point cloud record of the object of the survey. Developed for industrial purposes, it was subsequently applied to topography and represents an innovation in the field of architectural surveying.
This type of tool is used to acquire data from objects of limited dimensions where an especially high level of precision is required. Ideally suited to applications in engineering and mechanical industries.
A total station is a remotely controlled instrument used in surveying. It is fitted with an electronic distance measurement system and an on-board computer for elaborating and storing data. It facilitates the measurement of the angles and distances of a series of points, determining spatial position on the basis of a predefined coordinate system.
GPS is a global satellite navigation system that uses a dedicated network of orbiting artificial satellites to supply any device carrying a GPS receiver with geographic coordinate data regardless of meteorological conditions, anywhere on the planet.
An echo sounder is a specialised piece of ultrasonic measuring equipment that uses sound pulses to ascertain the depth of seas, lakes, rivers, etc.
Used in gathering data that would normally be difficult to obtain, rather than as a sole measuring tool. In terms of photogrammetry and topographic surveys, a drone can prove essential in especially extensive surveys or when zones are inaccessible or potentially dangerous.