The station is usually set up by a government with known coordinate and elevation published. Many stations are located on hilltops for the purposes of visibility. A graven metal plate on the top of a pillar may provide a mounting point for a theodolite or reflector.
Trigonometrical stations are grouped together to form a network of triangulation. Positions of all land boundaries, roads, railways, bridges and many other infrastructures can be accurately located by the network.
Trigonometrical stations are essential to the construction of modern infrastructure. Apart from the known stations set up by government, some temporary trigonometrical stations are set up near construction sites for monitoring the precision and progress of construction.
Some trigonometrical stations are equipped with Global Positioning Systems which greatly improve their accuracy.