[tz] Ecuador time zone list

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Mon Sep 19 18:03:51 UTC 2022

David wrote in separate messages:

> My argument and whole point was that from an end-user point of view,
> when choosing a city to select a time zone for Ecuador Guayaquil will
> not be the first choice. And I am pretty sure that in a huge
> proportion of cases it won't be the second either.

> Other operating systems allow the selection of Quito and I found it
> odd, that's all.

A bad user experience is to hand the user a list of raw tz identifiers and expect her to choose the right one.

A much better experience is to hand the user a list of cities, possibly arranged by country and subdivisions, and ask her to pick one of those whose standard time matches the user's.

The website timeanddate.com tries to detect the user's location (a step which not all systems or applications can perform), guesses the correct time zone, and allows the user to pick another nearby city. In highly populated urban areas, it may offer a choice of several adjacent cities. For me, it guessed Denver but gave me a quick choice of Lakewood, Aurora, or Centennial (all of which share a border with Denver, in the middle of the state and of the time zone) as well as three other nearby cities.

The GeoNames project provides a list of almost 5 million populated places, including almost 200,000 cities and towns with populations over 500, all with associated tz identifiers. Lists like these could be used in a UI to select a time zone.

(There was a thread two months ago about GeoNames assigning the wrong tz identifier to locations in Ontario, Canada, but that problem appears to be confined to the OpenStreetMap implementation that uses GeoNames data, rather than to GeoNames itself. Two cities mentioned in particular in that thread, Barrie and Picton, are coded correctly in GeoNames.)


Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US | ewellic.org

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