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A Guide to Standing Stones & Stone Circles in the South of Scotland.

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Using GPS To Find Ancient Stones

Some ancient stones, such as Stonehenge, can be easy to find, even in the dark and with your eyes closed! Some stones, however, can be exceedingly difficult to find, particularly those in dense forestry, under thick heather or simply in the middle of no-where. One site already listed, 018 Grey Mare, can be found in a shallow depression on flat open moorland and despite it being a sizeable boulder is difficult to see even from a few meters away. A GPS receiver is an ideal aid for locating ancient stones.

Each stone entry has a 8 figure grid reference, located in the right hand column of each page. This grid reference has been calculated from OS 1:25,000 series maps of the area and is accurate to within approx. 10m. It has also been checked on location for accuracy using a GPS Receiver. The GPS Receiver actually gives a 10 figure grid reference but as accuracy is unlikely to be better than 7 to 15m of the target location, an 8 figure grid reference has been given as it is accurate enough for finding most stones.

All you need to do is create a new Waypoint with your GPS device, change the grid reference to that listed for the stone you wish to visit e.g. 2137 4350 and give it a meaningful and unique name to make it easier to remember where you are heading. There is a suggested easy reference name on each page. Once near the location, use the GOTO feature and follow the direction indicator. You should also set your GPS device to British Grid and Ord. Srvy. You can also use the GPS GOTO feature to take you to stones when driving but let some else navigate and keep you eyes on the road!

Please note that this method will only give you the direction or bearing in which the target stone can be found, it is up to you to find a way to negotiate any rivers, woodland or whatever lying between your start point and the target location.

About GPS
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defence. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or set-up charges to use GPS.

GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. Now, with distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user's position and display it on the unit's electronic map.

A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D position (latitude and longitude) and track movement. With four or more satellites in view, the receiver can determine the user's 3D position (latitude, longitude and altitude). Once the user's position has been determined, the GPS unit can calculate other information, such as speed, bearing, track, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset time and more.

Important Notice
Ancient Stones cannot accept any responsibility for the use of this data, the use of any GPS unit, map or compass in conjunction with the data, or any errors which may be present in the data. Obviously we will be interested to hear of any such errors or any other suggestions as to the use of the data. The data should not be your sole aid to navigation, which should always rely on the correct map for your day, a good compass, and the knowledge of how to use them.

017 Torhouse Stone Circle, Wigtown.

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