Interactive World Map to understand more about the time-zone and geographical information

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Understanding Time Zone

A brief intro

A time zone is a region with a standard time throughout that is used for all social, business and legal purposes within a specific region. Our world is loosely divided into 24 time zones separated by longitude. Without the consideration of local variations, each line of longitude is divided by 15 degrees; as a general rule and depending on which way one travels, time moves forward or backward one hour for every 15 degrees.

Why do we need it?

Before the late 19th century, most cities across the world used to set their local times based on the observance of stars and the Sun. This was not an issue in and of itself at this time because, for the most part, the differences in time between long distances were barely noticeable due to the very long travel times taken to reach these distances. In addition, the lack of international communications made the need for standard timekeeping insignificant. However, the latter part of the 19th century is well known for the emergence of trading across countries, and the urgent needs of communication and transport that inevitably came with this. The Industrial Revolution was running in full speed, and the world was changing rapidly beyond our imagination by that time. Therefore, the need of have standardized measurement of time arose for a better timekeeping. This gave birth to time zones, with the Greenwich Meridian becoming the first, or ‘Prime’, time zone in 1884.

How does it work?

As said above, in theory, each 15 degrees of longitude moved toward the east corresponds to moving the clock an hour forward. In reality, however, this is a rather simplistic explanation, and things are not always as they seem. Time zone regions today, although roughly corresponding to 15 degrees of longitude, conform more to national and international boundaries than to the rigid 15 degrees longitude rule. The irregularity of the time zone borders is necessary politically and for the convenience of the local population.

How many time zones do we have?

This is a 6th grade mathematics. There are 24 hours every day, and 360 degrees of longitude across the globe – dividing 360 by 24 gives you the 15 degrees of longitude that equals to a 1-hour difference in every time zone. As a result, we can know that there are 24 time zones around the world.

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