Is there a Template that can display two time zones? If not, can it be made?

+5 votes
Now that we have another SourceAThon in October, the time zone problem comes up again.  It takes some effort for us to keep looking up the correct local time.  Especially in the period when in the world summer / daylight time changes to winter time. Rangers and Greeters, for example, also have to deal with this.

That is why I wondered if there is a Template that can display the current time in two (adjustable) time zones next to each other.  I searched for it in the WikiTree templates but couldn't find it.

My question is therefore to the Template designers whether someone can design such a template.  It would be a very useful tool in many situations.
in The Tree House by Joop van Belzen G2G6 Pilot (150k points)
Good point. A quick improvement could be to post all general times in GMT (Zulu for the US lovers). That will  be much easier for all...

GMT is Alpha time, The time used in the Netherlands is GMT -1 (Wintertime) called Zulu Time and  Sumertime (GMT-2) is Yankee time (following the NATO spelling alphabet). smiley

See what I mean ;)
Joop I think you are mistaken. My online references and memory of a conversation of someone in the US military agree that Zulu time is UTC+0 very similar to GMT. Netherlands is +1 or +2 in summer.

Best regards


I checked, you're right Tim and Michel! 

 Z (Zulu) is GMT / UTC, A (Alfa) Winter time Z + 1 hour and B (Bravo) Daylight saving time Z + 2 hours.  So now in the Netherlands it is Bravo time.  Time for a beer soon, those are the better times. wink

As said, this really proves our point.

Some history (off topic)

3 Answers

+5 votes
Just like Michel Vorenhout suggested, I think that it might be better to just use GMT or UTC times for the start of events. After all, the majority of the world population lives outside the Americas and doesn't use EST. There is a good reason for ISO 8601 (the international date/time standard) to use UTC ;-).

By using UTC you also avoid the entire daylight savings time problem - for the Netherlands, for instance, we just switch between GMT+1 & GMT+2.
by Willem Vermeulen G2G6 Mach 3 (35.0k points)
I have a template in mind in which you can set the time zones yourself.  Then everyone can use their own time zone.
That would be even more amazing - and should be relatively easy to create! Even without personal settings, you can use the device time to put in the right time :-) Should be fairly easy to make something which you can use to call UTC time and do something like... {{UTC|2020-08-21|12:00}} -> 21 August 2020 14:00 (GMT+2).
It may also be possible to use the timezone of your browser. Then the correct timezone will be displayed automatically.

edit: Willem suggested the same while I was typing.
Yes that is what I mean, for example to the left: there time and to the right our time.
+4 votes

Team Virginia's page for the first (2016) Source-a-Thon has the following that might be helpful:

Time Zone Helpers

  1. Time Zone Map
  2. Time Widget (clicking will take you off WikiTree; right-click to open in new tab or window)
  3. Another TIME WIDGET link
  4. World Clock Meeting Planner
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (655k points)

and... half are 404. So...

Time Zone Helpers

  1. Time Zone Map
  2. World Clock Meeting Planner

Thanks Liz nice sites, but we cannot use it as a template that converts and displays time, as part of text on, say, a Team Challenge page. laugh

unfortunately, the widgets were more like what you're looking for. They were both provided by NIST (US Gov't agency). Not sure why they pulled them - found one on WayBack Machine - maybe template wizards will find the info useful?

  • (not so much)
  • -> World Time Zones image:

The only useful thing I found on the NIST site (aside from the main page) was a table about US Time Zones & Daylight Saving Time ([here]).

Actually, the main page - - might meet your needs. It displays Eastern Daylight Time at upper right (I believe the -thon times are based on US Eastern Time) AND it has a "Your Device's Clock" that says I'm "UTC-4" and the UTC time is just above it. (And it tells me my device's time is off by "-54.931 s".)
In these days of the internet, knowing what time it is when sending data around is very important, thus every modern computer (Windows, iOS, Linux) knows the UTC time, and what time zone it is in, and thus how to convert between the two. Now I'm not a programmer, but it seems like that info should be accessible from via HTML /web browser..
Yes something like:

Input mydate

Read systemdate

mydate - systemdate = result

mydate + result = yourdate
+5 votes

My question is therefore to the Template designers whether someone can design such a template.

 Yes, but we will probably need more information. For example, where would this template be used? Team pages, Help pages, etc? If the usage is restricted, we have a bit more freedom in how it can function.

by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (775k points)
Hi Steve, thanks for your reaction

I see it mainly used in the Challenge pages of the various teams.  What I have in mind is a template that, for example, transfers EST to the local time in the Netherlands on the date that a Challenge starts. The next SourceAThon starts on Friday, October 2 at 8 AM (ET).  It takes some effort to find out what time that is in the Netherlands, taking into account the summer/winter time change here and in the ET time zone. Here we change on October 24/25 but in New Zealand on October 3/4. therefore also interesting for them, I think.

For example, a template where I can choose between the 24 time zones where date and time can be entered in two boxes.  One for the time zone of the organizer and one for the time zone of the respective challenge team.  Above these boxes you could, for example, show the current time and date and/or a countdown to start.

This template could then be placed at the top of the Challenge page.

Something like that....

There are some issues with how the time functions work so a countdown timer is not possible in our current configuration.

There are somewhere around 240+ time zones. so having a template with parameters to select from would be too cumbersome to manage. Then you have to throw in Daylight Savings Time and we are talking a pretty complicated template.

With that said, there is a parser function that we could use, assuming you know the local UTC offset on the day the event will occur. I will look into that bit more.

This is not a perfect solution but gets the job done.

The Source-a-Thon starts on Oct 2, 2020 at 8:00AM ET which is 12:00 (noon) UTC. Replace the <offset> with the UTC time offset for your location:

{{#time:  F j, Y g:i A|2020-10-02 12:00 <offset> hours}}

As an example: Amersfoort, Netherlands (picked a random location in the Netherlands) is CEST which is UTC+2. We use "+2" as the offset as follows:

{{#time:  F j, Y g:i A|2020-10-02 12:00 +2 hours}}

This would display as: October 2, 2020 2:00 PM

As far as I know the Earth is divided into 24 time zones from Alpha to Zulu time.  Zulu is UTC or GMT.  Then you go east GMT + 1 is Alpha time, GMT + 2 is Bravo time etc. In the Netherlands now summer time is GMT + 2, time zone Bravo, when winter time starts, the clock goes back 1 hour and becomes GMT + 1 (  Alpha time).

Can the time be adjusted, from summer to winter time? New Zealand, for example, changes in the period of the upcoming Challenge.

let's try what you propose and we'll see how it works.
What you can do: Calculate the difference between the system date of users computer and the entered time.  Then add the difference (+/-) to the entered time.  So in a template: left box input the time, in the right box the calculation is performed.  It is then up to the user to calculate any difference between summer and winter time if there is one.

The user settings already has a time zone offset setter (what a word).

Can't you use that? "To have the timestamps in Activity Feeds match your local time, you can offset the server time by plus or minus a selected number of hours." That actually works well.

On the side: one of the problems is that we have all these abbreviations for timezones being used. I know it is hard to believe, but ET really means something else to Dutch (well, at least me) than a timezone, and when you do an internet search for it...

ET the alien, wink ET is not correct it's EDT (Eastren Daylight Time UTC-4) or EST (Eastren Standard Time UTC-5) there also is EET (Eastren Europe Time UTC+2) and CET (UTC +1) om het gemakkelijk te maken.... laugh

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