Explore the history of human civilization from 3000BC to today using the Running Reality software app.
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Web Version:

New! Interactive In-Browser History Map
We have just created a new version of our world history model that works directly in your web browser. Please try it out! All of world history to explore, now with no app to download and launch. If you want full editing and other history features (animations, battles, etc), try the app version. More about the versions 

Downloadable App Version:

2014

Explore back through history, starting from today's cities and nations.

1814

Over 2+ days, British forces attempted to take Baltimore by land and sea and failed. The naval bombardment of Ft. McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

1942AD

At the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, Allied forces under General Montgomery stem the advance of Panzer Army Africa before Rommel can reach the port of Alexandria.

1575AD

Oda Nobunaga spontaneously invents the modern tactic of rotating volleys of firearms, as his arquebusiers break the siege of Nagashino Castle.

1815AD

U.S. forces defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans. The battle was after the treaty to end the war, but before news of the treaty arrived.

1814AD

Washington D.C. is burned by British forces during the War of 1812 after defeating U.S. forces at the Battle of Bladensburg.

700BC

The powerful Assyrian Empire controlled much of the fertile crescent from their sophisticated capital at Ninevah on the Euphrates River.

1864AD

The Battle of Cold Harbor was part of the Grant's campaign to capture Richmond, VA, late in the American Civil War.

1863AD

The Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War was the furthest that General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army advanced into Union territory.

200AD

London developed slowly in Roman times, getting its first city walls around the year 200AD. The city stayed within these walls until after the Medieval period.

481BC

Persepolis was the home of Darius and Xerxes and the ancient Persian capital until captured by Alexander the Great.

874AD

The Mayan city of Tikal at its peak had about 90 thousand inhabitants and was a leading city in the Mayan region.

2000BC

The Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian Empires flourish in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the third millennium BC.

1670AD

Russia grows rapidly in the 1600's under the Romanov Tsars, including territory gained from the Russo-Polish War that concluded in 1667.

2200BC

The Indo-European peoples begin to branch into the Thracian, Illyrian, Celtic, and Germanic peoples in third millennium BC Europe.

400AD

The Three Kingdoms of Korea (Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje) dominated the peninsula and parts of Manchuria from the first through sixth centuries AD.

1600AD

Venice reaches the height of its power with a network of territories and trade routes stretching across the eastern Mediterranean.

250AD

China at the end of the Han period splits in the Three Kingdoms after the last Han emperor is deposed in 220AD.

360BC

China in the Warring States Period on the eve of the rise of the state of Qin.

1521AD

The Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, comes under siege by Hernan Cortes and the Spanish Army.

1650AD

Amsterdam grows rapidly, digging more canals, after the Zuiderzee floods open a shipping channel to the North Sea.

1200BC

Back in 1200BC, at the time of the Trojan War, the plains we see today around Troy had not yet silted in.

293BC

Rome builds the Appian Way to support moving legions south to fight the Samnite War.

301BC

The Ancient Olympics were held here at the sanctuary at Olympia from 776BC to 394AD.

1666AD

The Great Fire of London consumes many of the wooden structures in the city.

2011AD

South Sudan declares its independence after a referendum, becoming the world's youngest nation.

1626AD

Captain John Smith establishs Jamestown near Werowocomoco, the Powhatan capital and home of Pocahontas.

1492AD

Christopher Columbus is about to arrive in the New World with the ships the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

1200AD

The Khmer Empire in southeast Asia builds the great temple Angkor Wat and a new capital city.

1515AD

The Aztec Empire before the arrival of Cortez and the Spanish.

490BC

The city-states of Ancient Greece, led by Athens and Sparta, face the might of Xerxes and the Persian Empire.

1903AD

Washington, DC grows as the Potomac River is filled to expand the National Mall.

1585AD

The English establish the colony of Roanoke in the New World, though it will survive only a few years.

1862AD

The Battle of Shiloh rages during the American Civil War to capture the rail junction at Corinth.

79AD

Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum.

1645AD

The English Civil War shows how the conflict spread across Great Britain.

1510AD

Tudor England sees much turmoil in the royal house under King Henry VIII.

600BC

The Roman Republic overthrows its Etruscan king and conquers its Latin neighbors.

1781AD

The U.S. begins its territorial expansion across the North American continent.

1861AD

The U.S. Civil War starts with the secession of South Carolina.

550AD

Early Medieval Britain emerges in the wake of the Roman withdrawl.

1180BC

The classical Dark Ages in the time of the Trojan War.

542AD

The slow decline of the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to 14th centuries.

1814

Over 2+ days, British forces attempted to take Baltimore by land and sea and failed. The naval bombardment of Ft. McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

1942AD

At the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, Allied forces under General Montgomery stem the advance of Panzer Army Africa before Rommel can reach the port of Alexandria.

1575AD

Oda Nobunaga spontaneously invents the modern tactic of rotating volleys of firearms, as his arquebusiers break the siege of Nagashino Castle.

1815AD

U.S. forces defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans. The battle was after the treaty to end the war, but before news of the treaty arrived.

1814AD

Washington D.C. is burned by British forces during the War of 1812 after defeating U.S. forces at the Battle of Bladensburg.

700BC

The powerful Assyrian Empire controlled much of the fertile crescent from their sophisticated capital at Ninevah on the Euphrates River.

1864AD

The Battle of Cold Harbor was part of the Grant's campaign to capture Richmond, VA, late in the American Civil War.

1863AD

The Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War was the furthest that General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army advanced into Union territory.

200AD

London developed slowly in Roman times, getting its first city walls around the year 200AD. The city stayed within these walls until after the Medieval period.

481BC

Persepolis was the home of Darius and Xerxes and the ancient Persian capital until captured by Alexander the Great.


  Search on a historical name or year...  or see all highlights or open projects within the Running Reality app.

More Than a Map

Do you wish you could watch any map, of any part of the world, animate forward or backward in time at will? (screenshots) What if you could then query anything in that map, study all the events it experienced, and watch it evolve with time? What if you could even edit this model world in any way you wished: adding to it, improving it, or even making it your own?

Running Reality offers the ability to render any day of any year, filled (or fillable) with real ships, people, regiments, and roads to the best of our current records and knowledge; not just static national maps frozen in time every few centuries or decades. We at Running Reality think that with all the power our computers have now that we can do a better job bringing history to life.

Running Reality is a free software app for desktop computers (Wait, you are a desktop app?) and also an expansive research project to model the evolution of human civilization.

  • Broad Scope: Its heart is a timeline that documents history from 3000BC to today.

  • Parallel Worlds: The baseline can be branched to explore alternate histories, uncertainties in the historical record, and the future.

  • Functional Governments: Reusable models allow the evolution and comparison of political, economic, and organizational structures from the past and into the future

  • Interconnected Events: Running Reality will go beyond the mere display of historical events, creating universal interlinked objects that allow it to run like a simulator from any startpoint.

  • Flexible Scales: Explore or create events on the scale of days or millennia. Detail the road building history of your hometown, or test if civilization is ready to send probes into the galaxy.

  • Multidisciplinary Reach: Running Reality can be used as a research tool, a teaching aid, a interactive archeological archive, or a discussion forum. Like other crowd-sourced web tools, it will become the utility its users wish it to be.

You can simply browse historical events, using the tool as an animated historical atlas. You can dive in deeper, even submitting new data and models to the project. The Running Reality software will provide you a flexible framework.

Comments

Send the Running Reality team an anonymous comment about the project!


News

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Chinese History Animation

Volunteers have just submitted many new details for early Chinese roads, the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era, the Northern and Southern Dynasties era, and the Spring and Autumn Period.    2014-03-10

Central Asia, South America, Etc.

In preparation for the coming rollout of the Running Reality webapp, a new round of edits have improved many areas, for example Central Asia in the 1400's, South America and Africa in the 1800's, the Ottoman Empire, and post-Napoleonic Europe, with much more to come!    2014-01-19

Navigation

We are about to remove the bottom navigation bar from the app, since its functionality is now about to be completely taken over by the new sidebar. Let us know if you have any thoughts on this change at contribute@runningreality.org    2013-12-18

Status report

We've been making really good progress on a webapp version of Running Reality which should be ready for testing in January 2014. In the meantime, we have been polishing up some of the main app's editing features using the new sidebar.    2013-12-16

Sidebar

You might notice that we've added a sidebar to the app so that you can better see the history of objects in the world. For instance, clicking on the Roman Empire brings up tons of events like new Emperors taking power. And if you allow the app to connect to Wikipedia, it can pull down pictures to better portray things!    2013-11-01