Jesper Norgaard Welen jnorgard at prodigy.net.mx
Sat Nov 4 21:38:01 UTC 2006


Unfortunately I'm getting this error when trying to access the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server error '80004005' 
[DBMSSOCN]General network error. Check your network documentation. 
//global.asa, line 181 

I'm creating a world map, which doesn't have a huge accuracy, however, it is
zoomable, so the simpler the jagged borders I make the more a curve in a
(timezone or country) border looks wrong. There are no splines or other
sophisticated map boundaries (fractals!?). I will be plotting the Quetico
map with the least accurate technology, with a mouse click on each point in
the boundary :-(
That said, I would like to get as much accuracy as I can get, although it is
also an issue not to have too many points for a boundary, because the size
of the map data will blow up disproportionately.

Many of the country borders I got from a pre-made map, and this map has more
accuracy in some areas and less in others. I tend to want more accuracy with
small islands or timezones, while less on bigger outlines, like Quebec or

I *do* understand that this practice is in contradiction with the current
legislation, but then I want to document current practice when it has a
tendency to be official, for instance official park personnel would use
GMT-5 everywhere in the park when reporting something on the ground inside
the park area, while park visitants might have a different time, as they

- Jesper

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Walton [mailto:Chris.Walton at telus.com] 
Sent: Sábado, 04 de Noviembre de 2006 8:42
To: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov; jnorgard at prodigy.net.mx
Subject: Quetico


Unfortunately Quetico Provincial Park is not a nice simple square. It has a
perimeter that is roughly 300km long; it has a few straight sections but
much of it follows lakes and rivers.

Here is a sample map; this is part of the perimeter that is made of nice
straight lines:

Here is another sample map; (look for the black dashed line where it follows
the shore of Three Mile Lake and Quetico River... the line is not

Here is another sample map showing part of the perimeter that follows the
Ontario/Minnesota (Canada/US) border:
If you are going to try and define time zone boundaries, the jagged
international border needs to be dealt with regardless of whether you place
Quetico in America/Atikokan or America/Rainy_River. The same border is part
of the northern perimeter of America/Chicago.

Obviously this is not the only part of the world where boundaries don't
follow straight lines. How do you usually handle jagged borders? Do you
approximate with a lot of single points or do you approximate with a series
of mathematical splines? How much accuracy are you looking for?  The scale
of the map that is used to get the data makes a huge difference!

Before we take this further... Here is a summary of time practices for
Atikokan & Quetico... Nothing new but please read. I just want to make sure
we are all on the same page.

The Township of Atikokan and Quetico Provincial Park both lie west of 90°
longitude. Based on Ontario Legislation, the time observed in this region
should be CST/CDT (UTC-6 in winter and UTC-5 in summer). The local mining
companies don't like the clocks moving forwards and backwards and pressured
the Township of Atikokan to remain on UTC-5 year round. The tradition
probably goes back to the end of World War II. The Township has never had
any by-law or formal documentation in place to cover the practice. If there
was such a by-law it would automatically be invalidated by the Ontario Time

Quetico Provincial Park is a relatively large wilderness park that is
situated very close to Atikokan (the southeast corner of Atikokan township
is actually located in the park). Total land area of the park is 4758 square
km. For comparison, the park is just a little smaller than the province of
Prince Edward Island. For people that like US comparisons, it is bigger than
Rhode Island but smaller than Delaware. There are no roads in the park other
than those at the main campground. The primary means of travel in the park
(in summer months) is the canoe.

The head office of Quetico Provincial Park is in the Township of Atikokan.
The park staff (Ontario Ministry of Resources employees) use "Atikokan time"
for official business year round. (I got confirmation of this back in July
from the park superintendent.) Campers, canoeists, skiers, hikers, and those
who prefer snow shoes can set their watches as they please without being
shot (because we don't use guns in Canada). In the summer months a.k.a. the
tourist season, America/Atikokan, America/Rainy_River, America/Winnipeg, and
America/Chicago are on UTC-5 so most visitors to Quetico park would never
know there is anything special about "Atikokan time". The hour difference
between America/Atikokan and the other time zone regions only shows up in
the winter when the tourists have gone home and there are presumably very
few people using the park.

The bottom line is that we are dealing with an area where visitors will use
what ever time they please but any local record keeping will be done with

For the purposes of defining time zone boundaries on paper (or computer), I
am not claiming that Quetico "must" be placed in the America/Atikokan time
zone... but I will try and support anybody that decides to do so.


More information about the tz mailing list