[tz] Proposal for a modern 'Collapsed' Namespace

enh enh at google.com
Fri Oct 12 15:50:35 UTC 2012

Yes, CLDR has what you need. That's what we use on Android to localize time
zone names, starting from Olson ids. All that code is open source in AOSP,
and icu4c does most of the work.

What is commonly requested but AFAIK not available anywhere is a localized
list of world cities with their corresponding Olson id. CLDR has exemplar
cities, so you can get "Los Angeles" from America/Los_Angeles, say, but
there's nothing that would go from "San Jose" or "Portland" or "Seattle" to
America/Los_Angeles. I think Paul Koning from Dell was saying a while ago
that Dell would use something like that too. I think when it comes to
humans picking time zones, city names are what they want. Which is why
you're mistakenly obsessed with localizing Asia/Shanghai as "Bejing Time".

If there was a canonical source for this mapping, with an appropriate
license, I'd use it in Android. AFAIK what lists there are aren't

Another potentially useful thing would be GPS coordinates of the boundaries
of time zones, rather than the center of population the zone is named
after. Again, the "human choosing a time zone" problem.
On Oct 12, 2012 7:49 AM, <Paul_Koning at dell.com> wrote:

> On Oct 12, 2012, at 10:16 AM, Tony Finch wrote:
> > Walter <walter.stanish at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> - The much referenced issue of 1.4 billion+ people on Beijing time
> >> being semantically mismatched to their timezone entry, which for lack
> >> of meaningful alternative timezone identification strings winds up
> >> getting displayed to users.
> >> - The need for a shared database of decent multilingual timezone
> >> names and descriptions.
> >> - The problem of how to display a timezone to the user that is
> >> detected via zone.tab and GeoIP, or similar methods.
> >
> > Aren't these requirements addressed by the Unicode common locale data
> > repository? http://cldr.unicode.org/
> >
> > Tony.
> I believe so, though the data is not that easy to find.  Cross-references
> might be helpful.
>         paul
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