A theodolite is a geodesy instrument complemented by an optical instrument, measuring angles in both horizontal and vertical planes to determine a direction. It is used to carry out the measurements of a triangulation: measurement of the angles of a triangle.

It is an essential tool in topography and engineering.

A theodolite is a telescope mounted on both vertical and horizontal axes. Each axis is equipped with a graduated circle allowing the readings of the angles.
The theodolite is placed on a support and must stand on the horizontal plane; It is often placed on a tripod, and at the exact vertical of a point known in coordinates, using a plumb line and a level with a spherical bubble, and its base must be perfectly horizontal A toric level, as well as a spherical level). The whole of this phase of use is called "setting up".

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