Frequently Asked Questions

This article provides Q&A about meta-topics for the Running Reality web and app versions.

Application Questions

How do I download and install the app (especially if I am having trouble)?

We answer questions about this over in the app section of the website.

How do I use the app?

The documentation section of the website talks about all the major concepts of Running Reality.

App Security Questions

What are the layers of security for launching an app?

Your operating system has protections against installing malicious applications from the Internet. Running Reality is an application from the Internet and we work to comply with the latest operating system protections so you know you can trust our code. The strictest right now is the Gatekeeper feature of Mac OS from Apple.

Data Questions

How far along are you?

For nations, we aren't sure exactly how far along we are, because we have no good estimate of how many border changes have occurred in history. However, we have some countries on each continent in each year since 3000BC. We are also working on cities and armies and battles and ships. The goal is eventually to get down to street-level views of all history.

Why do you use the term "data sources" instead of "layers?"

For users familiar with GIS systems, you are probably used to everything being a layer because all GIS data is geospatial. However, Running Reality is a history app, so it works with data that is geospatial, geotemporal, or with historical narrative. There are also many kinds of structured historical data that may not (yet) have a geographic component, such as relationship data (genealogical or other), epigraphic data, or cultural data. So, we use the term "data sources" to cover all this data whether it can be used as a layer or not.

Can I export all the nation borders?

No. Given the complexity of our history engine, we are not sure how exactly to do this. It is not a static map like a normal web map with all the data synchronized at the same time where you can, say, get all the polygons for 1700AD.

Specific map polygons can be converted to GeoJSON using our app's export feature. We are exploring geotemporal file formats like GeoJSON-T and MF-JSON that can show changes over time, but those formats are not yet implemented by major GIS apps or Javascript libraries and so do not work as data exchange formats.

You may find that embedding a Running Reality map on your website might be appealing to your visitors. There are a range of embedding options available. For Lesson Plans and Research Projects, you can even add your own sidebar and in-map layer content.


If you can not find an answer here, please feel free to ask us for help. Send us an email if you would like us to get back to you with a response:

Email the team