Total Station Skill Heat Map
Of the overall population of survey personnel at all levels, who still uses a total station?
This would make an interesting heat map. Who uses one most days, and who has the skill at all?
Perhaps a third layer showing places where there are crews not using total stations at all.
Sure I use the RTK a lot but the robotic total station comes along in the car to every job and gets used frequently. Trees and buildings have a habit of being inconveniently placed for RTK purposes.
Everyone I know personally still uses a total station in their work. They may use GPS as their primary tool for certain jobs but they still use the total station for close work, lot jobs and to get precise locations that GPS simply does not work for (too much cover, etc.)
In western Washington and Oregon probably more than 75% of all survey work is done with a total station. In fact, there are a number of companies in the business that do not own GPS at all. Not that long ago I worked for an outfit that had 6 crews, all well outfitted with the latest Robotic total stations. The 6 crews shared a single base-rover GPS pair. Only a couple of the PCs were even capable of running the GPS.
If you are doing building settlement monitoring or commercial building construction layout anywhere, it should be mostly with a total station. You just aren't going to get the kind of precision required with GPS.
Total Station is still in use quite often in engineering work. You can't use a scanner to do staking.
While the question is asked with good intention, I think that Surveyors should not be worried about knowing how to use the tool but rather knowing which tool is perfect for which job.