Geocoding a document, data source, or a set of data means converting named places to latitude and longitude coordinates so that the named place can be shown on a map. Running Reality has three geocoders and can


Geocoding is the process of converting a textual address or location into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) that can be used to place that location on a map. Essentially, geocoding is the process of giving a physical location an identity in the digital world.

Running Reality performs geocoding specially tuned for historical data. First, it uses geocoders to create location factoids for a newly named object. Second, it uses geocoders to analyze a data source to identify data that might be a location, then create a map layer for those locations. Third, it uses geocoders to augment search so that you can find locations not yet explicitly modeled within Running Reality.


Running Reality has integrated three geocoders:

Running Reality RR Baseline World Model This uses Running Reality's own world model of more than 300,000 objects to find locations for named locations, settlements, events, and people.
GeoNames Modern and ancient global places This vast database of 27 million locations covers natural and human features and locations globally. It includes names in a wide range of languages and alphabets. Running Reality uses a subset of the full data, excluding things like street names.
Pleiades Ancient historical sites, especially Greek and Roman This gazetteer of about 40,000 ancient place names covers much of the Greek and Roman worlds with site and settlement names and locations in a range of languages with clearly defined data uncertainty.


Running Reality uses geocoders to analyze a data source to identify data that might be a location, then creates a map layer for those locations.

Any data source can be analyzed, including plain text, PDFs (including journal articles), and tabular data in XLS or CSV format. This means you can generate a map layer associated with your data source to show over the Running Reality data. You can also then import these locations to Running Reality's native factoid format.

Once you have analyzed a data source, the identified locations can also be exported for use in other tools or maps. For example, you can analyze a PDF journal article to find named locations then export the resulting locations to a GeoJSON file, then import that file into a GIS tool such as ArcGIS or QGIS.

Local Installation

The primary Running Reality geocoders are based on the Running Reality web server. If you are performing extensive geocoding using the Running Reality app version, you may wish to download the optional app components for the geocoder databases. This will make your data source analysis notably faster.


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