Time Zone Genius .com

About time zones

Since the 1800s, people around the world have used time zones to standardize observation of time within geographic areas. Before their adoption, most people used solar time: noon was whenever the sun stood highest in the sky. This meant that the time of day could vary by a few minutes from one town to the next, and made it almost impossible to coordinate widespread systems like railroads and telegraphs.

In an ideal world, time zones would be defined by straight north-south boundaries evenly-spaced around the globe. However, politics and geography make that impossible. Therefore we are left with the complex system of time zones in place today.

Making matters worse, governments occasionally change the time zones, making it even harder to keep track of them. For example, until 1949, China was split into five different time zones. In that year, the government decreed that the entire country would be on Beijing time, with the goal of improving national unity. Whether or not it succeeded is anyone's guess, but until someone figures that out, at least the people living in the far west of the country get to sleep in until noon each day.

About this site

Time Zone Genius is here to help you make sense of all the idiosyncratic little details of time zones around the world. You can find out exactly what time it is anywhere on earth, as well as other useful information such as whether or not they're observing daylight savings time.

We pay close attention to changes in time zone boundaries and rules, and strive to keep the site as accurate as possible. However, if you do discover any errors or omissions, please feel to write us.