[tz] Split America into North America and South America

dpatte dpatte at relativedata.com
Fri Jan 6 23:08:43 UTC 2023

Personally, I'd like to at least see 'America' renamed 'Americas', to both differentiate from the nickname for the USA, and to show there two continents (by traditional naming).

----- Original Message -----
 From: Clive D.W. Feather via tz [mailto:tz at iana.org]
 To: "Wolfgang Keller" <wolfgangkeller at gmail.com>
 Cc: tz at iana.org
 Sent: Fri, 6 Jan 2023 21:46:47 +0000
 Subject: Re: [tz] Split America into North America and South America

 Wolfgang Keller via tz said:
> Hi,
> let us consider what conventions for the number and separations of
> continents exist. According to
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Continent&oldid=1131827063#Number
> there exist (at least) five common conventions for the number and
> separation of continents:
> a) 4 continents (Afro-Eurasia (Old World), America (New World),
> Australia, Antarctica
> b) 5 continents (Africa, Eurasia, America, Antarctica, Australia)
> c) 6 continents, combined-Eurasia (Africa, Eurasia, North America,
> South America, Antarctica, Australia)
> d) 6 continents, combined-America (Africa, Asia, Europe, America,
> Antarctica, Australia)
> e) 7 continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America,
> Antarctica, Australia)

You've forgotten Zealandia, which some consider to be a continent.

> For the prevalence of these separations (prevalence of c)-e) taken
> from the linked section of the Wikipedia article)
> a) is to my knowledge motivated by geology
> c) is is mostly used in Russia and some parts of Eastern Europe.
> d) is taught in some countries where Romance languages are spoken and in Greece
> e) is the model taught in most English-speaking countries
> So the central question that the problem reduces to is: which
> separation of continents should tzdata implicitly endorse by its data
> structures? If I were to ask, I would immediately say a) because this
> is the only convention of this list that is motivated by science
> (geology) and not by politics or history,

I disagree. e is justifiable by geography: a continent doesn't have to be
the largest contiguous landmass; it can be bordered by an isthmus or
mountain range just as much as a puddle.

But I don't see the need for this split. The division was made for the few
humans who work with the raw data, not for the general public and certainly
not for geologists. It works, so don't break it.

Clive D.W. Feather          | If you lie to the compiler,
Email: clive at davros.org    | it will get its revenge.
Web: http://www.davros.org  |  - Henry Spencer
Mobile: +44 7973 377646
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