Multiple time zones in Mongolia

Law, Gwil Jr. Gwil_Law at
Mon Dec 13 14:48:53 UTC 1999

>   I think you should not use Dariv as the central place in the UTC+7
>   time zone.  Take the more obvious Hovd. There are two Hovd in
>   Mongolia, so you should add the alternative name Jargalant.
> Jargalant is problematic.  Rand McNally spells it Jirgalanta.  Shanks
> spells it Dzargalant (with a hacek over the z), or as Chovd.  The CIA
> spells it something like Duno-Us [...]

I have Dund-Us as the capital of Hovd province, with Hovd and Jirgalanta
as older names which may still be in use for this city.  Still older
names include Khobdo and Kobdo.

> We generally prefer the most populous location to represent a region,
> so we should use the most populous location in Hovd, Uvs, and
> Bayan-Olgiy.  I suspect that the candidates are Jargalant (the capital
> of Hovd), Ulaangom (the capital of Uvs), and Olgiy (the capital of
> Bayan-Olgiy).  Do you happen to know which is the most populous?

Looking in a 1980 Hammond atlas that I have at hand, I find the following
populations for cities in the three provinces in question.  They're
out-of-date, but they may indicate relative sizes.

Bulgan, Hovd              3,100
Dund-Us, Hovd            12,400 *
Hyargas, Uvs              1,600
Olgiy, Bayan-Olgiy       11,700 *
Tsagaannuur, Bayan-Olgiy  2,000
Tsetseg, Hovd               700
Ulaangom, Uvs            14,000 *

It looks as if the three provincial capitals (*) are the only good

Since ambiguity is a criterion for rejecting a location name, I checked
the NIMA place names website.  It has 6,161 records of populated place
names in Mongolia, including variants.  The NIMA database agrees with me
about the preferred names of the three provincial capitals, as listed
above.  In the NIMA database, the names Dund-Us and Ulaangom are both
unique.  Among the other proposed names, Jargalant is the least desirable:
there are 13 cities whose preferred names are Jargalant.  There are three
places whose preferred names are Hovd.  There are two places named Olgiy,
but one of them is a variant name for Har-Us.  Darvi, not Dariv, is shown
as a variant for Bulgan.  There is a city named Dariv, but it's not in
the new time zone.

Doing some more research, I found the home page of the Mongolian National
Statistical Office, at <>.  There,
I found the populations of the three capitals according to the 1989
census and an estimate for year-end 1998.

            1989    1998
Dund-Us    24,100  27,400
Olgiy      27,200  21,000
Ulaangom   22,900  26,500

Following the published criteria, Dund-Us is the top choice, with
Ulaangom a close second.  Dund-Us is more centrally located in the zone,
which might give it more of an edge.

Yours,    Gwillim Law

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