The great library at Ephesus, Turkey.

World History

At Running Reality, we envision a novel approach to exploring, teaching, and learning about world history. Leveraging today’s technology, we craft an accessible, immersive, and captivating model of history tailored for K-12 students, enthusiasts, researchers, and visitors to historical sites. Witness history unfold on a dynamic map or experience it through augmented reality on your desktop or mobile device. Begin your journey with a historical map showcasing any place on any date from pre-history to the present day, featuring evolving national borders, shifting rivers, silting harbors, and the rise and decline of cities. Delve down to street-level with ships, armies, buildings, artwork, artifacts, and individual people. Stand on a battlefield with your mobile phone and witness the precise locations where soldiers once stood in an augmented "live" view. A single, global, geo-temporal model underpins all visualizations.

Running Reality continues to expand, incorporating new historical data daily. Recognizing the vastness of history, we continually enhance our model with advanced historical tools. We integrate AI/machine learning tools to transform narrative history into structured data and to digitize historical map features. Our research tools adeptly analyze, import, and export various geographic and historical data formats. Each data point is supported by linked, open, traceable, and verifiable citations. A comprehensive model of world history not only accelerates historical research but also furnishes a platform for individuals to engage with history in unprecedented ways. History was alive — and Running Reality looks to bring it to life.

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Map + Timeline

Running Reality can render any day of any year as either a web map or as an app for desktop and laptop computers. The world history model lets you click on any building, place, or thing, study related events, and how it connected to other objects. The model is built from a dynamic database of historical data that the app can manipulate and edit. As more data is entered into the model, Running Reality steadily improves the fidelity of how it renders history. Our goal is to slowly work our way down to street level to the best of our current records and knowledge of history.

A Research Project

The Vision

We wanted to build a world history model that lets you go anywhere on any date and explore right down to the street-level of history. And then edit it.

The Origin

The project was started by Garth Henning to do long-term strategic planning for space exploration. These days, the history part of the project makes more headway than the space part.

The Name

The project's name comes not from the ability to just browse history, but from the ability to tinker with it. Hence the ability to "run" a model of "reality" and why we call our project a "world history model"

Running Reality is an expansive research project to model the evolution of human civilization from around the world. Using our free tools, you can easily browse historical events as an online animated historical atlas. We would also welcome you to join the team and dive in deeper, contributing new data or models to the project. Running Reality makes what it does look easy, but underneath the hood it is a powerful, innovative, and challenging history engine.


Feel free to contact us about any topic, especially if you need clarification of this documentation. We welcome all discussions.