Big Time


Let's use our technology to reestablish a personal relationship to time and end the tyranny of timezones! Big Time calculates your time according to your exact distance from the prime meridian.

How is Big Time calculated?

[nerd alert] First, get the current GMT (Greenwich Mean Time, also sometimes called Coordinated Universal Time). Then find the longitude of the current position (latitude doesn't matter). Next, calculate the time difference between your position and the GMT. The furthest you can get from GMT in degrees is either 180 or -180. Half a day is 43200 seconds and 43200 / 180 = 240. So if we multiply the current longitude (in decimal notation) by 240 we get the time offset in seconds from the prime meridian. Then add that number to the current GMT and you've got the Big Time in seconds. Divide that number by 3600 to get the hours. Divide the remainder by 60 to get the minutes, and the remainder of that becomes the seconds. That's all there is to it!
Okay, you need to do a little fiddling if it's after midnight at GMT but still evening in your current location, and the GMT never has daylight savings, but for the most part that's all you need. [end nerd alert]
It may seem overly complicated, but we were using clocks on boats to calculate our longitude since the 18th century, doing the reverse with our phones and computers just makes sense.

Here's a link to the code in the p5 code editor..

Updated Page Notes

Big Time was first created in 2009 as a website that used Google Maps and as an iphone app. As the google API changed over the years the page stopped working, and I removed it from my website. This new version uses Open Street Maps instead of Google. There is no longer a stand alone iphone app available, but a mobile version is at https://editor.p5js.org/Joemckay/present/vQwbOlpRB (or use the QR code above)
Thanks to open Street Map, Rhizome, The Berkeley Art Museum, p5.js and Hawkeye Parker.

More work by Joe McKay can be found here.


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