This is an idea for a new type of clock, it uses the position of the Sun and the angle of the Earth relative to it to show the times of locations across the globe (well, currently just the northern hemisphere). I've decided (after many hours of deliberation...) to call it the "Earth Clock". It shows how the Earth would be shadowed if seen from a position above the north pole in Space.
As an example, this Earth Clock shows the time of:
- London, England (red),
- Ottawa, Canada (green)
- and Tokyo, Japan (blue)
all on the same clock face - The time at these locations is indicated by the lines emanating out to the 24 hour clock face surround the Earth.
The date is also displayed by where the Earth shadow terminus falls (the point between night and day), indicated on the outer circle of months.
There are a few caveats to note:
- The clock does not yet show adjustments for daylight saving. This will be displayed by two lines protruding out from the particular location, one for the correct standard time and another at an angle showing the adjusted daylight saving time.
- The shadowed part of the Earth does not accurately show which countries are in darkness as it does not take into account the tilt of the Earth relative to the Sun. Here it is shown as it would appear with a 0 degree tilt.
- Places in the southern hemisphere would appear as located in the northern hemisphere
I have a few ideas on how to improve it outside of those improvements mentioned above:
The months need to be added, with some kind of extension out of the shadow indicated the correct date
I'd like to have some controls so that the speed of the animation can be changed.
I'd like some indication of time passing, as the update is currently imperceptible. I have an idea for a satellite that orbits the Earth once a minute.
- Need to add the names of the locations into the display. This would likely be a couple of letters next to the end of each location stick.
- It may be interesting to add the position of the Sun on to indicate where the shadow comes from.
- Would be better to make the Earth orbit the Sun, though this would definately take up a lot more page space.
This works correctly in Opera 10.5 and in Firefox 3. It should work on other browsers with canvas enabled. Here's an image on what you should see, taken at 22:21(BST) on 3 Jun:
This one is just an image (!), see the top of the page for real one.