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How the World Time Zone Map Started

Unless you had lived under a rock for the past couple of decades, you must have some vague knowledge of what a world time zone map is. Experts frequently define a time zone map as a series of geographical regions that is approximately 15ᐤ apart from each other, with the zero-degree region being known as the Prime Meridian. worldclock.com has various tutorials related to time zone map.

Simply put, it basically shows over 24 different regions that loosely follow a standard time for practical and legal purposes.

Why is the world time zone map created?

In the old days, people tell time by looking at the position of the stars and sun. However, progress and globalization had rendered this practice as highly impractical because there is an apparent difference in local time of two different regions. A universal time is useful, especially in commerce where the price and quality of commodities hinged on the punctuality of its delivery.

For example, in the late 18th century, the American railroads faced an immense difficulty: they are being plagued with very confused passengers who kept missing their trains. This is because each station kept and follow its own local time. After several operational shifts, it was decided that all train stations must follow a universal time for better train schedules. 

What is standard time?

In broad terms, a standard time is calculated by the region’s location from the Prime Meridian, which is found in Greenwich, England. The standard time is known as the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and is the one mostly responsible in regulating all clocks in the world. It had officially replaced the old Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), though both shared certain similarities and are often interchangeable.

However, not all clocks follow UTC all year round - there are some regions that follow a time offset to maximize the sun’s available light, particularly during the changing of seasons. Such offset is more popularly known as Daylight Saving Time (DST). It is the process of winding clocks one hour in advance as spring starts and winds them back again as soon as autumn comes.

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