If you are a Phileas Fogg, then you would really need to be savvy about time zones around the world. Going around the world in eighty days surely must have been befuddling for him as it is for me sitting in my armchair. Time is the one thing that controls our life, more than anything else.
As you sit here reading this post, you are a traveler in some sense of the word. The post has been written by someone who has probably seen the sun set, while you might not yet have seen it rise.
If you are a web worker, then time zones take on a different urgency. You really need to be on top of it so that you can meet your deadlines or send out something at the exact time.
Working out the time (and date) difference is quite easy with the number of web tools we have at hand. Time zone converters easily do the clock math for you. There are even handy tools that help you email smarter as per the time zone.
Being a visual person, I sometimes like to visualize the time zones across the world on a map. We have covered some before. Here’s a list of ten interactive time zone maps.
Time Ticker is an interactive Flash clock which shows the current times around the world. You get accurate atomic times by moving your mouse over the map and highlighting the region. You can be more specific with the list boxes that give the names of the cities and town for that region. The difference with GMT and Daylight Saving Time if active is displayed. If you have a Real Player installed, the time map can even announce the time. An added feature lets you adjust your computer clock (IE and Windows required). You can also get TimeTicker on your iPhone or iPod.
With Time Zone Check, you get three clocks and a world map. Hovering your mouse over any location tells you the standard time and the Daylight Saving Time if any. You can compare these two clocks with the third, which takes your local time from the computer’s clock. A search field helps to locate the time for any place on Earth. You can also save your locations. A narrow strip at the bottom of the browser windows indicates the date by using color.
Time.is covers 7 million locations around the world and helps you to compare their time with your own. All that with a large digital clock. The web app takes into account DST and also mentions the sunrise and sunset time. An information list tells you about the time zone details, the latitude and longitude, demographic information, details on holidays and observances for the day, and a Wikipedia link.
Using Time.is and its atomic clock feedback, you can adjust your own PC clock. Other options allow you to alternate between white and black themes for the clock display and a few display format changes.
Every Time Zone describes in a line the reason behind easy interactive time zone maps: Never warp your brain with time zone math again.
Every Time Zone is an online service that automatically converts your local time to 12 time zones so that you don’t have to do it yourself. The times displayed for the cities are offset from the UTC. DST is also indicated in brackets. Moving the green slider for the local time adjusts the time accordingly in other zones. The relative time of the day is also indicated by the colored tones of the bars.
The cities covered for each region are Honolulu, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Rio de Janeiro, London, Vienna, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, and Auckland.
Read the previous mention Time Zone Check in our Directory.
The Flash application displays world times on an interactive map. You can know the current time with a mouseover on the indicated time zones or locations. The map can be customized to set your own clocks for three time zones around the world. Clicking on any location takes you into a more detailed informational page with information like DST offsets and time for any other cities nearby.
Qlock is the simplest app which is on our list. Mouse the mouse over the screen to note the current times or find a city using the search box. The little time box also shows the difference with the GMT, and DST if any. You can find out the whereabouts of a location from the Google maps that come with the clock. Qlock also comes as a downloadable app for Windows, iPhone, and the iPad.
At first glance, Daylight Map shows the world as night and day. Getting into the Options lets you set clocks (up to 10) for any areas on the map. You can set the clocks by address, by map click, or by latitude and longitude. Clocks can be analog, digital, or color coded. You can also select to set the location of the sun at the present moment.
Entering the site, you have the cool nighttime view (Night mode) which takes in data from Google and shows the lighted up areas around the Earth. If you want to see the time zones in greater detail, the Google Maps API displays it all with color codes.
World Time Zone is like a quick reference chart that displays the time zones in detail. DST is also indicated by yellow markers on the map.
With Daylight Saving Time’s chart like display you can easily see how changes in DST can shift time differences. You can select two locations and see the time difference in color during the current and subsequent six month periods. The site also has a meeting scheduler (with a free starter edition) which can integrate with your Google calendar or Gmail.
Time zones can be easily visualized on Google Earth. You just need the right KML file. The Google Earth Library has one which is a bundle of different world time zone data and maps found on the web. From the CIA Factbook to Barnabu’s cool visualization tool, you have a few options to play around with.
You can also combine the Firefox add-on Fox Clocks with Google Earth. Though it won’t show you a time map on Google Earth, it will take you there when you click on the time information of a location.
If I remember my classic, it was the late realization of the International Date Line that won Phileas Fogg the bet. It may not be so drastic for us, but these time zone visualization tools make it far easier for us to be on the clock and on time. Would you agree?
Image credit: feureau