A NEW map of the world reveals how much Spanish time is out of sync with the sun.

Created by Google engineer Stefano Maggiola, the map reveals the large parts of the globe whose watches are out of sync with ‘solar time’ – the time according to the sun.

The sun rises gradually across the world, due to the earth’s tilt, but this is not taken into account by time zones that cover ‘too large an area’, he insists.

So while it may be midday according to watches throughout an entire time zone, the sun will only actually be in the middle of the sky – at the midday point – for a small fraction of it.

This means that the sun rises and sets here more than an hour later than it does in Naples, despite the countries being in the same time zone.

Mr Maggiola was inspired to create the map during a trip to Spain, after noticing the country’s unusual daylight hours.


  1. This is a BBC News article from last year that discusses the question of the Spanish time zone and the change Franco decreed in 1942 so that Spain would be aligned with Hitler’s Germany. “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24294157”

  2. With most of Spain (& all of Portugal) being to the west of the Greenwich meridian, it would at least seem more logical for Spain & Portugal to be on UK time. It might be more practical if most (if not all) EU countries were on the same time but I can’t see that ever being agreed. It is after all, far more beneficial to agree on the curvature of a banana rather than a standard EU Driving licence……isn’t it!!

  3. I like the fact that Spain is on CET because you get the benefit of extra daylight on winter evenings – something that is very appealing to tourists as well. Dark nights in the winter in the UK cause seasonal affective disorder and the UK is actually thinking about changing to CET for a number of reasons.

  4. Haven’t you noticed that this is the country, where the “noon lunch hour” lasts from 2pm til’ 5pm? At least in my small pueblo, the daily schedule has more to do with dawn, dusk, daytime heat, and the church bell than compliance with a time zone. If that confuses you, then maybe you should take off your watch.

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