File Formats

The Running Reality desktop app recognizes a range of file formats that are used by historians, genealogists, academics, and geographic information system specialists.

Overview

Historical data comes in many forms and formats. Some of it has geographical data associated with it, such as latitude and longitude or maybe a city or port name. Some of it has temporal data such as years or dates. There is no one format that is ideal to store newly created or newly digitized historical data. Existing data may be in any one of many common interchange formats or possibly a no-longer-supported proprietary format.

Running Reality has its own internal Factoids data format in which it stores data. However, it provides interchange with a range of common data formats. We want to be able to import the most common files used in historical research, the current list of which is shown below. We also wish to allow you full control over your data: A) leaving it in your existing data format, B) converting it to Factoids that reside on your computer, or C) converting it to Factoids that you then contribute to the baseline Running Reality world. Finally, to support teaching, research papers, etc, we provide export tools.

Import Formats

Use the Add Data Source menu to import a data file as layer (which leaves the data in the source format) or as factoids (the native Running Reality history data format). These are the file formats currently supported and with support in development.

In addition to these single-file formats, Running Reality can also read map data from a map tile server.

FormatDescriptionFile ExtensionUsage
GEDCOM Genealogy File The GEDCOM file is a standard interchange format for genealogy data. You can export a GEDCOM file with your family history. .ged
factoids
PNG Image Portable Network Graphics files can be used as a layer overtop of the Running Reality map. .png
layer
JPEG Image JPEG files can be used as a layer overtop of the Running Reality map. .jpg .jpeg
layer
GeoTIFF Image In development. GeoTIFF image files extend the TIFF format to include georectification data and other metadata tags to locate an image or map. GeoTIFF files can be used as a layer overtop of the Running Reality map. .gtiff .tiff
layer
GeoJSON A common interchange format for geographical data, also readable by most Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software. It is a modern format that extends the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data format. .geojson
layer
factoids
CSV Partially complete. Comma-Separated Values files are a very common plain-text format for storing and interchanging a wide range of data. Data is stored in columns and rows (records), and requires a mapping of the columns to be able to perform an import. .csv
layer
factoids
KML In early development. KeyHole Markup Language is a GIS interchange format that contains geographical data. .kml
layer
factoids
CityJSON In early development. A new interchange format for describing buildings, streets, and other built structures with variable precision. It is a modern format that extends the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data format. .cityjson
layer
factoids
NDJSON In early development. This is a variant of the JSON format that contains data structured in records, similar to a CSV file. .ndjson
layer
factoids

Export Formats

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.

Please include a citation to the Running Reality website when embedding in a publication.

FormatDescriptionFile ExtensionUsage
JPEG Image A static image of a particular date in a common image format. .jpg
print publication
presentation
MPEG Movie A short movie of a date range in a common video format. .mp4
presentation
GIF Animated Image A short animation of a date range in a common animation format. .gif
presentation
Embedded Webpage Embedding Running Reality in your web page may be an option that meets your needs similarly to an export.
website