Hi people,

I am an instructor here in the UK and I'm in the process of writing a book on setting out. Your help would be very much appreciated.

I use Leica and Topcon for training young engineers.  I'm looking for your help with some terminology for functions in other types of total station.....

In the Leica (TS06 and TS09), the mode for setting out by co-ordinates was until recently called 'stake out'. The most recent software calls it 'set out' (here in the UK).

In a Topcon it is 'layout'.

Can you tell me what this same mode is called in:




Thanks in anticipation.


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I use Topcon Magnet software in the US. They use the term "Stake".

Thanks Jason.

Stakeout in Trimble. I've never heard anyone call it setting out in the USA. I've heard it called layout, though.

Stake out in trimble as previously advised but here the guys call it setting out with the stake out module!

In Nikon it is stake out.

Sokkia ; same thing stake out.

Trimble: Stake out.

Dear Saffron,

I am looking forward to seeing the book. I would like to see it as soon as possible.

I am explaining to the students in Turkey during my classes in English the terminology as:

Layout (aplikasyon in Turkish)

also called

set out,


stake out, 


laying out,

setting out



Prof.Dr.Ergin TARI

Great, I will keep you in the loop!  My aim is that my book will be useful for people who's first language is not English. Perhaps I can test it out on some of your students!

I would be very happy to help you on the book especially for non-native English students. 

We, with my colleagues , also published two books on Engineering Surveying in Turkish which can be seen in (unfortunately all in Turkish):





Thanks everyone. Very interesting. There is a clear pattern that it is called stake out in the US, but has a range of different terms elsewhere. It is also interesting to hear from Paul Williams that a 'function' in the UK is a 'module' in the US.  This discussion has definitely clarified that I first need to create a book for the UK and then make separate versions for other countries! I'm really glad to have found this group, with a wealth of experience from all over the world and willingness to help. I'm looking forward to seeking opinions on some other things.  It will be interesting to hear not just the differences in terminology and language, but differences in approaches and methods used in marking out on site.

 Hi Saffron,

Older Total Stations,  in some cases use different terminology other than whats found on todays instruments. 

You might consider also looking at older Data collectors Menus. Some of them were clones 

menus taken from TS. Different survey terminology  around the world would be a Discussion in  itself. But on to this one. Older Sokkia TS and DC used "stakeouts' were older Pentax used

"stakeout". Older Leica used "setting out" some used "setout". Topcon has used "layout" but in distance measurement  menu has a "stake out" (S-O)  option or sub menu. This can be found in their GTS 600 series also in the GTS 820 series where you will find " stake out" only. Older surveyor in the US. have used stake out and layout before TS. Also Radial Stake Out or Radial Layout. and you find it on some older TS. Some also use "Point Stake" as a menu or a sub menu. also just" Stake" in TS and DC. I have also seen just "Staking" used on some older TS. As you know most of these menus had sub menus. Some of these can also be found as a main menu on some older TS. Even under their main menu of what was used  the sub list could contain "stakeout setup","point staking", "offset stakeout","slope staking", "road sections", etc.Also options of polar or rectangular method as solving data, some refer to (coordinate method) and ( angle,distance method). Which I have never used coordinate method. I am sure I have left some brands of TS or DC off. This search could turn into a lot of data for all of them TS,DC, surveying terms for setting out, layout or stakeout for all around the world used today and yesterday. As well of many different survey terms used today or in yesterdays World.


Best regards

Hi Billy, thanks for this very thorough reply. I appreciate you taking the time. It is very helpful. All the best.

 Hi Saffron,

 I showed this collection some time ago,just though you may like to see it as well as using it in your class.

Enjoy this collection, some of these instrument are very high in accuracy,even today. Some of the levels were used to cross wide river or wide canyons we called them Gap Levels back in the day,they would read great distances. Even imagine what the first surveyors faced to cross the Mississippi River ,at one mile wide. Water surface varies from each of it's banks. the rate of fall is unpredictable from obstruction in the channels, such as sandbars or man made dikes, so water surface will not help you.

There are two links to the collection from the main page.




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