The runestones of Sweden (Sverige, Svezia)
Why the site
The driving reason for setting up this site is to allow visiting the runestones of Sweden avoiding any encroachment on private property.
Many of the runestones can be seen with the street view option in GoogleEarth. When this is possible it is so indicated in the excel file. In some cases a photo has been placed by users of GoogleEarth and also this is indicated in the excel file.
A path has been found across all the runestones (fragments are not included in the path), which is fairly short.
Also Eniro provides a street view capability. Just push the little person icon at the bottom right; a crosshair is shown that replaces the pointer; after having brought the crosshair in the desired position click; allow some time for the street view to appear.
When I started visiting runestones in Sweden back in 1992 practically nobody did the visiting. Thus, in those cases when you approached a private property you would exchange eyes contact with the owners and, as they had not seen anybody else since forever, they were very happy to show you around.
But around 2003 I noticed a strong increase of visitors, even from outside Sweden. I never pushed too much to find a runestone, and when it was in the private part of a private property I never approached without eye contact. So I always got good reception. However in many cases you approach a private property just because you do not know where the runestone is to be found.
So the main aim of this site is to provide the most exact information on where the runestone is and, looking under column AJ of the excel file (the column called M), if the figure reported there is less or equal to 6, then is better to avoid even trying to establish eye contacts. The figure 9 means that the runestone is not in a private property and I am sure that the runestone is where the GoogleEarth signpost is placed. The position of the signpost in GoogleEarth wins over the coordinates to be found in the excel file as they were there as a starting point; in the excel file the coordinates in italics are to be considered more reliable. Fences where horses are kept seem to be a very sensitive location and it is better to avoid approaching. A runsetone that is inside a fence very close to the road is labelled 8, as you surely can indulge in looking at it, but bear in mind that if the line of sight enters a window, chances are that you may anyway be causing rearranging of the activities inside.
Remember that even if an owner sees one visitor per month, that might be too much even for a very cordial person.
This site then is particularly open to the owners: if they want to see a different number under the column AJ, they are very welcome to just state what number they wish to see, no questions asked.
So just send me an e-mail at email@example.com with e.g. “U 1021 change from 7 to 3″ or “”U 1021 change from 3 to 7″ and I will just comply. Only if I see that you are trying to make me change a number into decreasing it, that concerns a runestone in Saint Peter Square in Rome, you will notice a resistance.
As stated before this way one avoids visiting places where no runestone is situated, because this can cause undue possible distress. Imagine you see somebody approaching and you know that there is a runestone in your property; that is one thing; if there is no runestone it is another thing entirely.
This problem has become more severe in these times.
As for the reason why I am so interested in runestones, I cannot find one. I came to suspect that in reality the most important things that I do, I do for no reason whatsoever.
Please take into account that under the column B I have placed a 9 when I am pretty sure that the runestone is there and a 6 when it could be even some hundred meters away. Anyway there are still some hilarious cases (less hilarious if you are on the field) so, if you do not find the runestone there, just move on to the next one, something is amiss.
If you are willing to send me a note of the correct coordinates of a runestone, that would be particularly appreciated.
The description of this web site
This site is comprised of the following items:
This Word document;
An Excel file (select “Foglio 7″ i.e. sheet number 7);
A GoogleEarth file.
Other features are:
My e-mail contact button.
An handbook the bulk of which I wrote back in 1999 where I had envisioned a path through all the runestone I could find.
The Excel file
If you venture into the excel file you will notice that under certain parts an italoswenglish language is used for the moment, that makes me sound much like Salvatore (actor Ron PERLMAN) in the movie “The name of the Rose. That will be changed with time. Also I have no academic constraint, so some (few) interpretations could raise eyebrows.
The GoogleEarth file is best used together with the excel file.
In the excel file a path has been found to visit all the runestones (no fragments) of Sweden (another unique feature of this site.) I do not claim that I have found the shortest path, as I did not employ any computer code but did it the hard way. Anyway I am pretty sure this path is short enough.
In the following there is a description of what you see in the excel file.
“Foglio 11” = “Sheet 11!
A chart is shown with the path across all the runestones.
“Foglio 7″ = “Sheet 7″
Lines 1 to 20 are comment lines.
With time they will be rearranged as what you see now is a crush version.
Column B lines 1 to 17
– Here you have a description of what you find under the columns that in line 20 I have designated with A to P (excel columns U to AK; the designation P is not used for the moment.)
Under the column H the sum is reported of the numbers under from A to G.
Column J lines 1 to 6
describe what is under column “✔” (B-20)
Column J line 8
informs you that (A-20) under column A you can see if I visited the runestone or not. Bear in mind that in this crush version I have placed a 1 only for those that I recollect at first sight, some from a visit 2013-1992=22 years ago. With time I will go through my handbook and the notes and I will do justice to my whereabouts.
Lines from 21 to the bottom.
. The swedish designation for the runestone is reported.
Column D and E
. The X and Y coordinates according to Ref 90. When the numbers are in italics that means that I have particular confidence that the figure is exact. I fine tuned the position on GoogleEarth with the help of the street view feature, my notes, my recollection and all other information that I was able to gather. The result of this is under column B: a 9 means that I am pretty sure that if you go you find the runestone; a 6 means that the runestone could be right there or 500m away (in one case the runestone was on the other side of Sweden.)
If one wants to write down the position of a runestone with no reference points close by, there are two ways.
A GPS handset. This is an antenna and a computer that receive the signals that are sent by satellites. The precision is some 5m if all satellites are received (the signal travel time back and forth is averaged over sometimes 30 satellites.) One must see the sky. Being surrounded by not too tall buildings or under some foliage is tolerated. No information is received indoors. No SIM card is necessary.
Any mobile smart phone, tablet, android, portable computer with a mobile connection in the USB port (and a SIM card.) In this case the precision to be expected is less than the one with the GPS handset. The provider must know where to send the signal and it tries to do it by triangulating the time the signal takes to go back and forth (but over only few towers, plus the uneven attenuation.) The precision can be 15m. The advantage is that the information is received even indoors.
Columns F to H and I to K.
Here you find the coordinates expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds (as I have them set up in GoogleEarth.) So I have placed the yellow place markers on Google Earth based on those figures. But then I have fine tuned the position on GoogleEarth and did not go back to change the numbers here reported. So, when you see a 9 under column B that refers to the position of the GoogleEarth yellow marker, not the coordinates under F to K. There is no way that in G-20 and J-20 I can digit ‘ for minutes: it disappears!
Columns L and M
. The coordinates are transformed into degrees and their decimals.
Columns N and O
. Of no importance.
. The number indicates the “as the crow flies” distance from the previous (line above) runestone.
. The number indicates the distance run to go through all the runestones up to that point.
. Shows the number of the runestone along the path.
. Gives an estimate of the total distance (as the crow flies) that one has to run to go through all the runestones. As one progresses along the path the estimate becomes closer to the final value. This distance does not take into account the winding and climbing/descending of the roads. But it does take into account the fact that thou shall not cross a lake where there is no ferry service and it does take into account that roads, even if small, need to exist to accept a certain path from one runestone to the next.
. Here a not so informed guess is provided on what might be the real total distance.
Columns U to AB
. The numbers reported under each one of these columns could be made into (ordinates) a graph along all the runestones (abscissae) to decide on what to visit (for the purpose of visibility of the graph the figure under H is made to never exceed 49.) Under H, if one can walk from one runestone to the next without the need to get on a mechanical/electrical device of transportation, then the first runestone sports the addition of all the numbers associated to the following runestones.
Columns AC to AF
. Here the coordinates were transformed for an immediate check, double check and then check it again, with Eniro. A new version of Eniro is now available and these two columns are now not necessary anymore.
Columns AG to AK
. See the description in the lines 9 to 16.
In particular, column AK (labelled N) has:
1 when it is possible in GoogleEarth to drag the little man icon inside the picture (in doing so blue lines appear to highlight where the little figure can be placed to have a street view to appear);
2 when no street view is available but a GoogleEarth user has placed a photo of the runestone;
N stand for “no way”, meaning that the runestone is inside a structure and that no future increase of the street view paths can be expected to make the runestone visible in the future;
T stands for try. I have been developing this work with a mobile computer connection provided by Xxxx. For Xxxx “mobile” means that “it comes and goes.” So in many cases I do not know if a particular location supports or not the street view option.] [to be deleted: Correction: Xxxx would never let you down. If you express your frustration right away, you get 5 bars of signal. True story.];
W stands for “I am 100% sure that I saw the runestone via street view in the past but now the blue lines do not appear anymore.” Anyway in most of these cases I used a “T” instead;
S means that you are not going to see the runestone; however you get to see a road sign that directs you to the runestone. For those that never went to visit a runestone difficult to find, this information doesn’t mean much; but those that have been in such a predicament know that such a sign looks better than a million dollars.
. Here the name of the runestone is reported. Mostly this is the name where the runestone was found, not the name of the place where the runestone stands. In some cases I have reported more than one name when more were reported in the literature. The name of the place where the runestone stands can only be found (when not explicitly stated) by clicking on the yellow marker on GoogleEarth. Here I have also reported some information that is of particular interest to me.
The GoogleEarth file
“Wherever you are, you can go and visit the closest runestones”
To use the Google Earth KML file, just:
download Google Earth here
install the program by double clicking on the file that has been downloaded
download my file KML here.
double click on the file KML itself and GoogleEarth will open.
In many cases it is possible in GoogleEarth to drag the little man figure inside the picture (in doing so blue lines appear to highlight where the little figure can be placed to have a street view to appear) to see the runestone. In this case a 1 has been placed in column AK (my designation column N) in the excel file.
In some cases the runestone, due to foliage etc., can only be seen from a particular position; in such cases I have placed a yellow marker with the caption “to see…”
In some cases a GoogleEarth user has placed a photo of the runestone in the map. In such cases, if no street view option is available, I have placed a 2 in the excel file column AK (my designation N.)
I have placed a T in column AK of the excel file if I am not sure if a location supports the street view option of GoogleEarth and in those cases when an extension of the street view option is possible to be expected.
If you happen to be willing to place a picture of one of the runestones on GoogleEarth that would be particularly appreciated.
The handbook of 1999
The handbook the bulk of which I wrote back in 1999 does not include my notes after, say, 2003. It includes also runestones in Italy and the USA.
Please keep in mind that the notes in the handbook were intended for my eyes only and thus you can find some untoward statement.
Also, having no academic basis (the handbook is best characterized as the runestones seen through the eyes of a child: I was 39 when I started) nor restraint, I often placed some outlandish considerations that you may be willing to indulge: I did not have time to go through and read it all again.
The handbook may be useful if something is really amiss in the excel file. The best way, besides the alphanumeric number officially given to the runestones, is search for the name of the runestone.
I aknowledge cut and paste into several publicly found internet information like:
– Rätt Satt Hård & Lagman (the basic starting data for my inquiry);
– Christer Hamp (the best site ever for runestone visiting, see his “miljö” pictures);
– Pre Christian religions of the north;
– Runic dictionary;
– Skaldic poetry
– Samnordisk runtextdatabas;
– Rundata 2.5;
– Bussmicke (another best site ever for runestone visiting: photos for the spotting);
– Schleugerhard (sketches provide additional information that a picture cannot convey)
– Commons Wikimedia
As I have attempted to contact for permission, if the use of their material is not free (as there is no
statement to the contrary there) and if there is any problem with to use of the material, please let me
I am not responsible for any negative incurred by using the information here provided.