Elementary classroom.

Running Reality for Teachers

Running Reality can be an interactive addition to the classroom environment, a place for students to do research, or a way to develop projects and activities.


Running Reality tries to show the world as it was on any given date in history and at any point on the world. The teaching of history using new digital tools is part of the emerging discipline of Digital History within the Digital Humanities. We have been a big proponent of the teaching philosophies embedded in these disciplines and look to make Running Reality a key teaching tool.

Go Ad-Free

We know that teachers use Running Reality in a group or presentation setting. So, we make sure that you can eliminate ads from your screens by signing in to Running Reality for free.

Use in the Classroom

While you can use Running Reality free-form, we also offer a lesson plan premium feature. This allows you to pre-define the time and location steps that you will be following during classroom instruction. It also gives you sharing and integration features, such as synchronizing multiple student tablets to the instructor tablet and integration to your classroom learning platform.

Device Availability

Running Reality is available as a web app for mobile devices including Android, iPhone, and iPad and for desktop computers including Mac, Windows, and Linux. The web app for mobile devices requires only an initial download of about 1Mb of data, which can be more accessible to global classrooms, especially those rural areas without fast Internet or strong mobile signals. A downloadable mobile app can be 100Mb and difficult for all students to download.

Running Reality can be shown on a range of devices that might be available in a classroom.

Tablet Multiple tablets can explore from the same starting point to follow along.
Large Flat Panel or Projector Take a class on a journey using a full-screen web browser and a good internet connection. (Or use the app)
Large Touch Screen Timeline and map are both touch responsive for interactive exploration.

If you want to hide certain parts of the interface, you can add parameters to the Running Reality URL. These can be helpful to remove distractions.

The parameters are:

Map Images

From the share menu of the app version of Running Reality, you can embed an image or movie into your own work. You can copy-paste an image of the map directly to your computer's clipboard. You can save a JPEG image of a point in time or save an MP4 movie or GIF animation of a span of time.

Note that the web map uses a Mercator projection but the app uses an equi-rectangular projection. In most cases, you might not notice a difference, but at street level, Mercator keeps right angles looking correct and equi-rectangular can show some distortion. Eventually, we will migrate the app to Mercator.

Use as a Source

Running Reality should not be a primary source. Like an encyclopedia or a historical atlas, it provides a broad context. You can use that context to figure out new avenues for research, following links to cited reference works on topics that might be of value. At this early stage in Running Reality project, you might expect there to still be blank areas or bugs in its model of history, so definitely check yourself against the works cited by the model's factoids.

How your help can be valuable

Running Reality is both a software challenge and a historical research challenge. We need your assistance to help our team ensure that the latest developments in archaeological research can be accessible to our audience. Contributing factoids to the history model will be very valuable to the project and will provide citation links back to your primary sources and research material. Running Reality's timeline branching is meant to facilitate exploration and discussion of new and emerging research.