1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby Muswell » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:05 pm UTC

svenman wrote:
FOARP wrote:Nope. Portugal is in a separate time-zone to Spain. For good reasons too: it actually doesn't make that much sense for Vigo in Spain and Bialystok in Poland to be in the same time zone.

In fact, as far as the least possible difference between legal and solar local time is concerned, it would make sense for Spain, France and the Benelux countries (in decreasing order) to also be in the GMT (UTC) time zone (together with Portugal, the UK and Ireland) instead of Central European Time (UTC + 1). However, the convenience of not having a time zone boundary at your countries' land borders seems to be the more important issue for most of the countries mentioned, especially because a lot of those land borders cut through thickly populated regions.

Yep.

Definitely nothing to do with the Nazis moving the occupied part of France to German time during WWII.

Nothing at all.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby phlip » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:09 pm UTC

PieterEr wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but… why is Poland "reaching" to the east? It's in the same time zone as Germany and most of the Western Europe, and they observe DST the same way.

Probably just so it can share a border with Belarus, which is two timezones away...

speising wrote:
I don't get that thing with australia's 8:45? i don't see that in an official time zone map.

It's a compromise timezone halfway between WA's UTC+8 and SA's UTC+9:30...
Wikipedia wrote:A compromise between Western and Central time (UTC+8:45, without DST), unofficially known as Central Western Standard Time, is used in one area in the southeastern corner of Western Australia and one roadhouse in South Australia. Towns east of Caiguna on the Eyre Highway (including Eucla, Madura, Mundrabilla and Border Village, just over the border into South Australia), follow "CWST" instead of Western Australian time. The total population of that area is estimated at 200 people. This area did not change when South Australia introduced DST. During the Western Australian trial of DST from 2006 to 2009, this area also set its clocks ahead one hour during summer. This time zone is not officially recognised.

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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby HES » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:31 am UTC

NeatNit wrote:It also bothers me that he didn't actually mark the timezones... That was the whole point of this map!

Here you go.
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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:18 am UTC

svenman wrote:
FOARP wrote:Nope. Portugal is in a separate time-zone to Spain. For good reasons too: it actually doesn't make that much sense for Vigo in Spain and Bialystok in Poland to be in the same time zone.

In fact, as far as the least possible difference between legal and solar local time is concerned, it would make sense for Spain, France and the Benelux countries (in decreasing order) to also be in the GMT (UTC) time zone (together with Portugal, the UK and Ireland) instead of Central European Time (UTC + 1). However, the convenience of not having a time zone boundary at your countries' land borders seems to be the more important issue for most of the countries mentioned, especially because a lot of those land borders cut through thickly populated regions.

It would seem acceptable to me to have a time zone boundary at the French-Spanish border, which mostly follows the thinly populated Pyrenees mountains, although it certainly would be odd to have that time zone boundary run in a general East-West direction.

Even worse: most of Galicia should be in the UTC-1 timezone. And Valencia (on the middle of Spains East-coast) is west of Greenwich...

(Portugal should also mostly be in UTC-1, as should 2/3 of Ireland).

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby jamesh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:20 am UTC

What would be interesting is two more maps that take daylight saving into account, six months apart. Remembering that northern and southern hemispheres do daylight saving at different times of the year, and not all parts of the world use daylight saving at all.

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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:50 am UTC

hemflit wrote:
FOARP wrote:Nope. Portugal is in a separate time-zone to Spain. For good reasons too: it actually doesn't make that much sense for Vigo in Spain and Bialystok in Poland to be in the same time zone.

Exactly. The map makes it look like it might share a time zone with Spain, and definitely not with Britain.
No, because it's to the left of the line between UTC and UTC+1, while Spain is on the right. It doesn't skip an hour like parts of Greenland and Russia do, so there's no need to stretch it or disconnect it or anything.
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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby azule » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:28 am UTC

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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby serutan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:44 am UTC

brakos82 wrote:
NeatNit wrote:Slightly bothers me that he went easy on North America while basically butchering everything else.


Our only weird time zone borders in the U.S. and Canada are Newfoundland being on a half-hour, and Arizona's very awkward daylight savings situation with the Navajo and Hopi Nations.


Awkward only because said nations are unable to perceive the fundamental idiocy of DST.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:17 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Azrael's Clock is the truest.


Azrael has his own clock?

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby orthogon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:55 am UTC

jamesh wrote:What would be interesting is two more maps that take daylight saving into account, six months apart. Remembering that northern and southern hemispheres do daylight saving at different times of the year, and not all parts of the world use daylight saving at all.

Even within a hemisphere, different countries start and end DST on different days, which is why I suggested an animated gif. The US starts DST earlier than the EU. All EU states change at the same time. The former was an Obama policy I believe, and the latter is an EU directive, so both must be on borrowed time (if you'll excuse the pun) as far as the anglosphere is concerned.
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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby svenman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:03 am UTC

Muswell wrote:
svenman wrote:
FOARP wrote:Nope. Portugal is in a separate time-zone to Spain. For good reasons too: it actually doesn't make that much sense for Vigo in Spain and Bialystok in Poland to be in the same time zone.

In fact, as far as the least possible difference between legal and solar local time is concerned, it would make sense for Spain, France and the Benelux countries (in decreasing order) to also be in the GMT (UTC) time zone (together with Portugal, the UK and Ireland) instead of Central European Time (UTC + 1). However, the convenience of not having a time zone boundary at your countries' land borders seems to be the more important issue for most of the countries mentioned, especially because a lot of those land borders cut through thickly populated regions.

Yep.

Definitely nothing to do with the Nazis moving the occupied part of France to German time during WWII.

Nothing at all.

Well, hardly, considering the French had all the opportunity in the world to change their timezone back after the war if they had wanted to.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:20 am UTC

orthogon wrote:The former was an Obama policy I believe, and the latter is an EU directive, so both must be on borrowed time (if you'll excuse the pun) as far as the anglosphere is concerned.

Funny definition of anglosphere, even if many mainland-Europeans do speak English better than "da yoot".

(UK properly merged with the EU-wide DST start/stop dates with a 2002 act to properly follow the 1996 standardisation, but there was a 1997 precursor that 'patched' the earlier definitions in law to match up until 2001. If I remember correctly. I don't know what they did to fix or change things in the US, but it must be more complex due to the latitudinal spread.)

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby orthogon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:58 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
orthogon wrote:The former was an Obama policy I believe, and the latter is an EU directive, so both must be on borrowed time (if you'll excuse the pun) as far as the anglosphere is concerned.

Funny definition of anglosphere, even if many mainland-Europeans do speak English better than "da yoot".

I meant that POTUS is surely planning to overturn the change in US DST dates just to spite Obama (he may have done it already and nobody noticed), and that once the UK "takes back control" we'll probably bugger around with our GMT/BST dates just for the sheer xenophobic insular hell of it. I was assuming that the remaining EU member states would carry on as they are, hence "anglosphere".

Regarding the actual directives/transcriptions, I admit I Did Not Do The Research. I just remember that it used to be unpredictable and different in different countries, and then something came into force that made it the same across the EU and always happen on the last Sunday in March/October. (I've always been puzzled as to why these are so asymmetric in relation to the Solstices/Equinoxes. DST should start earlier).

ETA: Actually it was Bush Jr in 2005.
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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby lcneves » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:51 pm UTC

funky_nickie wrote:Looks like xkcd recognizes the annexation of Crimea, which makes me very, very sad. :(


I second that! :cry:
Please, Randall, could you paint Crimea the same color of Ukraine? Pleeease?

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby CBusAlex » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:56 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Flumble wrote:Yes, UTC is bad. Time must be metricized, so appointments must be made in seconds since the unix epoch (no leap seconds allowed!), which is what digital calendars are doing anyway.


No, we should have the exact time elapsed from the beginning of the universe to now, given in Planck time. Picking arbitrary units with arbitrary divisions/starting points is what got us into this mess in the first place.


The current time is ERR_OVERFLOW.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Flumble » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:50 pm UTC

CBusAlex wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Flumble wrote:Yes, UTC is bad. Time must be metricized, so appointments must be made in seconds since the unix epoch (no leap seconds allowed!), which is what digital calendars are doing anyway.


No, we should have the exact time elapsed from the beginning of the universe to now, given in Planck time. Picking arbitrary units with arbitrary divisions/starting points is what got us into this mess in the first place.


The current time is ERR_OVERFLOW.

Perhaps we'd have started counting in 256-bit integers from the start. That would only overflow every 10^16 universe ages.

Imagine using 256-bit words right from the start, rather than all the 16-bit and 32-bit shit we're still stuck with. Sure, we'd have a slow start to the computing age, but we'd be making so much more progress right now.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Reka » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:03 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Even within a hemisphere, different countries start and end DST on different days, which is why I suggested an animated gif. The US starts DST earlier than the EU. All EU states change at the same time. The former was an Obama policy I believe

Nope, it was the younger shrubbery, ahem, sorry, Bush.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby hetas » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:58 am UTC

I don't really get why Finland is so disproportionate. It has land boarder with Russia on the east but with Sweden and Norway only in the northern parts. Now the whole Gulf of Bothia is filled in. The same isn't done with other countries like Portugal which was mentioned before. It doesn't fill the whole time zone.

Unless Finland has aquired the whole Gulf of Bothnia to themselfs. I missed that news.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:58 am UTC

It might just be a resolution issue. If you look at e.g. this map, zoom in on Finland, and then imagine straightening out all the crooked time zone borders so that they make nice straight lines, all of Finland gets stretched to the east, and a little bit of the southwest part of it gets squished in eastward, while eastern Sweden also gets stretched eastward, and the Bay of Bothnia would just straddle the line where the time zones are divided. That would just be a narrow little stretch of water, which might simply not be resolvable on this scale of map.

Portugal meanwhile has to be moved whole to the east just to bring it into the right time zone area, and since it doesn't connect to anything at all on the west, may as well just let it pull all the way to the east of that time zone instead of stretching it eastward across it.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:13 am UTC

I wonder what the political situation in southern South America led all those other countries to shift into UTC-3. Funnily enough, according to this map, southern Brazil ventures even further for some crazy reason, into UTC-2. I wonder if that's a mistake or if Wikipedia is wrong.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:52 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I wonder what the political situation in southern South America led all those other countries to shift into UTC-3. Funnily enough, according to this map, southern Brazil ventures even further for some crazy reason, into UTC-2. I wonder if that's a mistake or if Wikipedia is wrong.


It's all there in the map. Southern Brazil is currently on DST whereas the northern coastal part is not. The latter is bang on the time you'd expect for its longitude. DST only really makes sense at mid-latitudes where the day length changes significantly from solstice to solstice, which is presumably why the southern part has it but not the northern. And AIUI it's the coastal areas that are heavily populated, so it makes sense to match the standard time zone to that part rather than the Amazon region.

I agree that Argentina and Chile are a bit ahead of where you'd expect, though in fairness Chile is also on DST. But the "craziness" amounts to an hour or so, just like Europe.

ETA: I think it's just surprising how far east South America is, with the westernmost part level with the east coast of the USA. It's probably the fault of the Mercator projection, making North America look like its centre of mass is further east than it is.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:ETA: I think it's just surprising how far east South America is, with the westernmost part level with the east coast of the USA. It's probably the fault of the Mercator projection, making North America look like its centre of mass is further east than it is.

I don't see how this can be blamed on the mercator projection. It depicts differences in longitude as absolute differences in the X-axis (and latitude in Y), this is exactly the point (and the one thing it does really well).

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Jyrki » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:11 pm UTC

PieterEr wrote:Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but… why is Poland "reaching" to the east? It's in the same time zone as Germany and most of the Western Europe, and they observe DST the same way.


I guess it is because Poland and Belorussia share a border, and Randall tries to show that. The same thing happens elsewhere. Take a look at China extending to the West to border India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It would be interesting to see Randall's take on the few counties in Northern Indiana. IIRC some counties don't observe daylight saving. Some counties are in a different timezone from the rest of the state due to proximity of Chicago (I guess) etc.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:49 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Perhaps we'd have started counting in 256-bit integers from the start. That would only overflow every 10^16 universe ages.

Imagine using 256-bit words right from the start, rather than all the 16-bit and 32-bit shit we're still stuck with. Sure, we'd have a slow start to the computing age, but we'd be making so much more progress right now.


Not really a problem; since the majority of home computers cannot resolve Planck time, it's going to be an approximation anyway. 2^128 Planck time is conveniently 18.35 microseconds, which is a good starting point for a replacement for the standard clock/calendar, as 2^16 * 2^128 Planck time is about 1.2 seconds.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
orthogon wrote:ETA: I think it's just surprising how far east South America is, with the westernmost part level with the east coast of the USA. It's probably the fault of the Mercator projection, making North America look like its centre of mass is further east than it is.

I don't see how this can be blamed on the mercator projection. It depicts differences in longitude as absolute differences in the X-axis (and latitude in Y), this is exactly the point (and the one thing it does really well).

Everything can be blamed on the Mercator projection!

Longitude is represented by uniformly spaced vertical lines, but equal intervals of latitude correspond to increasingly widely spaced horizontal lines (the North Pole is at infinity). This makes the representation of area doubly wrong (or square-law wrong, or something worse), since both longitudinal and latitudinal distances are exaggerated at higher latitudes. Even the equirectangular is better from this point of view as it's only singly wrong.

What I was getting at was that the parts of North America that lie east of Bogotá are further north: they're not very big, but look a lot bigger in Mercator, which makes North America look further east on average than it really is. That was my point about the "centre of mass". However looking again at the Mercator, I think it's obvious that South America is further east. It's just not something I'd really incorporated in my simplified mental model of the world. Partly the names of the continents are to blame. Had geopolitics been different they might almost have been called "East America" and "West America".
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:34 pm UTC

Los Angeles shares a timezone with the Pitcairn Islands in the south Pacific.

Rio de Janiero shares a timezone with Greenland in the north Atlantic.

Alaska should share a time zone with Hawaii but doesn't.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:14 am UTC

orthogon wrote:It's all there in the map. Southern Brazil is currently on DST whereas the northern coastal part is not.

But why would they be on DST now? It's only Feb.... ohhhhh, right, southern hemisphere. Wow, that adds a whole other layer to the clusterfuck that is Needlessly Changing Time.
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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:18 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
orthogon wrote:ETA: I think it's just surprising how far east South America is, with the westernmost part level with the east coast of the USA. It's probably the fault of the Mercator projection, making North America look like its centre of mass is further east than it is.

I don't see how this can be blamed on the mercator projection. It depicts differences in longitude as absolute differences in the X-axis (and latitude in Y), this is exactly the point (and the one thing it does really well).

Everything can be blamed on the Mercator projection!

Longitude is represented by uniformly spaced vertical lines, but equal intervals of latitude correspond to increasingly widely spaced horizontal lines (the North Pole is at infinity). This makes the representation of area doubly wrong (or square-law wrong, or something worse), since both longitudinal and latitudinal distances are exaggerated at higher latitudes. Even the equirectangular is better from this point of view as it's only singly wrong.

What I was getting at was that the parts of North America that lie east of Bogotá are further north: they're not very big, but look a lot bigger in Mercator, which makes North America look further east on average than it really is. That was my point about the "centre of mass". However looking again at the Mercator, I think it's obvious that South America is further east. It's just not something I'd really incorporated in my simplified mental model of the world. Partly the names of the continents are to blame. Had geopolitics been different they might almost have been called "East America" and "West America".
I think it's got less to do with Mercator and more to do with not really thinking about how diagonal the US east coast is. Sure, a line straight south from Tampa, FL, misses South America completely, but a line south from Boston hits Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, (Peru again), Chile, and Argentina.

It's pretty clear on a Mercator projection that the eastern half of Brazil is much farther east than all of the US, but I suspect many people's mental image of the Americas simply tilts the whole thing to be more directly north-south instead of northwest-southeast as it is in reality.
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Re: 1799: Bad Map Projection: Time Zones

Postby SalSomer » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:46 am UTC

funky_nickie wrote:Looks like xkcd recognizes the annexation of Crimea, which makes me very, very sad. :(


On the other hand, xkcd doesn't seem to recognize Finland ceding Petsamo/Pechengsky to the Soviet Union in 1944.

Living in Northern Norway I always find it a bit funny how many people don't seem to know that Norway and Russia share a border and that Finland doesn't in fact go all the way up to the Barents Sea. It's completely understandable that people don't know this, it's a tiny border in a remote and sparsely populated part of the world, but it's obviously still funny when you actually live up here.

To see xkcd make the mistake of giving Finland a coastline with the Barents Sea and having no border between Norway and Russia was disappointing, though. I would have expected better there.

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:45 pm UTC

Yet more badness for the map projection to have... ;)

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Re: 1799: "Bad Map Projection: Time Zones"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:03 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I think it's got less to do with Mercator and more to do with not really thinking about how diagonal the US east coast is. Sure, a line straight south from Tampa, FL, misses South America completely, but a line south from Boston hits Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, (Peru again), Chile, and Argentina.
Did you mean Jacksonville? A line dawn through Tampa also completely misses the US east coast.
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