Question about: Service: Date and Time Gateway

Peter Thoeny peter.thoeny at
Sun Feb 13 23:22:39 UTC 2005

Dear Krystian and tz team,

The program on takes the data from the Olson tz 

I am not sure I can explain the +/- GMT question, someone from 
the Olson tz database team is probably better in that.

More info on GMT at

Info on timezones at

Interstingly, above site shows GMT times in reverse to the
Olson database! E.g. for me in California, the Olson database 
tells me I am in Etc/GMT+8, and tells me
I am GMT-8.

Confused Peter

krystian at wrote:
> This question pertains to the data within:
> Service: Date and Time Gateway
> Which I believe is under a revision by your penmanship.
> Q. Are the GMT offsets mixed in this website? When I think of GMT-5 I think
> of Eastern Standard Time, however your site lists GMT-5 as where I always
> think GMT+5 is.
> > Greenwich Mean Time: (GMT/UCT/UTC/Universal/Zulu;
> > positive numbers count hours west of GMT
> What is the cause of having positive numbers count west of GMT? Aren't
> positive numbers, by definition, to be east of GMT? (like GMT+5 is add 5
> hours to the time at GMT?)
> I've seen lots of confusion about this on the web and I don't understand why
> this is so. I have always thought GMT-5 was Eastern Standard Time, not some
> time in the European longitudes.
> Can you please speculate on this? I'm also trying to find the difference
> between UTC and GMT (as I've read they are the same but not exactly). Maybe
> this is how they differ.
> I'm terribly confused. Please offer an explanation to your readers in the
> form of a link or direct them to such a place.
> Regards,
> Roland Krystian Alberciak.

   * Peter Thoeny                           Peter at
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