The National Institute of Standards and Technology - Time and Frequency Division maintains the standard for frequency and time interval for the United States, provides official time to the United States, and carries out a broad program of research and service activities in time and frequency metrology. Prior to 1972, this time was called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) but is now referred to as Coordinated Universal Time or Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). It is a coordinated time scale, maintained by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). It is also known as 'Z time' or 'Zulu Time'.
There are specific reasons why a user would want to change the time zone in Google Chrome independently from system time on their PC. For different reasons, changing your time at the OS level may break other functionality, such as backup schedules, encryption keys, and security certificates. So how can one change time specifically in Google Chrome without messing with their OS? Read on to find out.
Changing the time in Google Chrome browser
What are time zones
A time zone is a region guided by a standard local time as legally stated by the country. Commonly, most countries may have a single time zone. Larger countries like Canada or the USA have multiple time zones. At the same time, China uses only one time zone even though it’s a relatively larger country.
GMT is an abbreviation for Greenwich Mean Time, the clock time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, U.K., located at longitude zero. This acts as the datum. UTC, Coordinated Universal Time is the correct GMT replacement since it’s based on International Atomic Time, which uses cesium atomic frequency to set time standard. Offset is the difference of time between UTC standard time and the local time.
Customizing the clock in Google Chrome
There are two ways to change the time zone in Chrome, and we’ll start with an extension called Time Shift. After downloading and installing the Chrome browser:
- Start a new session.
- Get the Time Shift extension from Chrome’s web store. You’ll find the extension button at the top right corner of the browser window.
- Right-click it and select Options.
This opens a new tab where time settings are visible. By default, the time zone is in GMT, but the user can select the desired time zone from the drop-down list and conclude with more satisfactory settings in the adjacent windows.
Changes made here clearly reflect on all Chrome tabs. However, Chrome provides the option to turn off the extension by simply left-clicking on the icon that illustrates a clock. You just changed the time zone and time in your Chrome browser.
Alternatively, you can get the same end result by employing a simple command-line variable when starting up Chrome. For example:
[Path to Chrome]Chrome.exe TZ=America/New_York
Just check the time zone you need is properly formatted, and you’re good to go! This method doesn’t require any extensions or digging through the settings. Furthermore, you can create as many shortcuts for Google Chrome, each with a different associated time zone, and run them as needed!
Chrome is one of the most user-friendly browsers around. With the Time Shift extension (or the command line variable), the browser allows users to choose or change their time zones effortlessly. While most casual users will most likely never need a feature like this, others might find it very useful. It’s a great way to protect privacy, test web apps, calendar functionality, and other time-dependent functions before deploying.
Story by Mia Thomson
Created: Nov 7th, 16'
Google Calendar Showing Utc Time
Date object inherently operates on the user computer's time. While there are
Date methods such as
Date.getUTCDate() to help us derive the universal time, from there it's a slippery slope of navigating the complex world of International Time rules such as Daylight Savings Time in certain time zones before we can reliability get to the pot at the end of the rainbow that is the time of a specific location in the world. What we need is a database of time zones and Daylight Saving Times rules to peel away all the complexities and fallibility of relying on just the user's local time to derive the time for a specific location on earth. And that is where Google's Time Zone API comes in handy:
Setting Up Google Time Zone API
Google's Timezone API provides a simple interface to get the time zone and DST (Daylight Savings Time) offset of any location on earth. To use it, simply make a request to:
Utc Time Zone Map
where 'json' can be substituted with the string 'xml' if you wish the returned data to be in XML instead of the JSON format, and
parameters should consist of the following 3 pieces of info:
Expected parameters for Google Time Zone API call:
location: A comma-separated Latitude and Longitude tuple (ie:
location=37.3711, -122.0375), representing the exact location to look up.
timestamp:The desired date and time expressed in seconds since midnight, January 1, 1970 UTC. The API uses the
timestampto determine whether or not Daylight Savings should be applied. Times before 1970 can be expressed as negative values.
key:Your application's API key. This free key is required to make requests to the API from your site.
We'll go over in detail in the next section how to define the first two parameters, though before all else, you need to first obtain a Google API key to access the Time Zone API from your site. To do so, simply follow the instructions laid out on this page. If you've already set up a API key and want to modify or retreive it again, jump straight to the Google Console page.
Here is an example of a fully well formed Time Zone API call string to Vancouver, Canada for the date Nov 4th, 2016:
The returned data:
The returned data once the call has been made, via Ajax for example, is in the form of a JSON string:
In Vancouver Canada, Daylight Savings Time for 2016 is in effect between March 13 to Nov 6. As the requested date Nov 4th 2016 falls within that range, the returned data reflects this. The
'dstOffset' parameter (in seconds) tells us for that time and location, the DST (Daylight Savings) offset is 1 hour (3600 secs) relative to the Universal Time. The '
rawOffset' property tells us the standard offset (in seconds again) of this time zone relative to Universal Time, aside from any Daylight Savings offset.
In a nutshell, the local time of any location is derived by adding the values of the '
timestamp' parameter and the returned
'dstOffset', and '
rawOffset' values together. But that's just a little too simple an explanation, so lets keep digging.
Preparing the parameters for the current date/time of a specific location on earth
Lets put all that theory to work now to actually get the current date and time of a specific location in the world. How about Tokyo? Been there once, loved everything except the expensive transit! We need the Latitude and Longitude coordinates for Tokyo, plus the current Universal date and time as seconds since midnight, January 1, 1970 UTC for the '
timestamp' parameter to construct the corresponding Time Zone request:
Lets go over how we derived the above values:
- Getting the Latitude and Longitude of a location
To get the Latitude and Longitude of a location using Google Maps, enter the desired address (in this case 'Tokyo Japan') into Google Maps and press enter. Then, right click on the name of the location on the map ('Tokyo') to bring up a context menu. Select and click the menu item 'What's here' to bring up a card of the location with its Latitude and Longitude shown at the bottom:
Alternatively, you can use a site like latlong.net to get those cryptic numbers.
- Getting the
timestamp value for any date
Google Sheets Utc Time
timestamp parameter of Google Time Zone API expects the desired date and time to be expressed in seconds since midnight, January 1, 1970 UTC. For the current time, this is calculated by first instantiating the date object to get the current local time of the user's computer, then adding to it its UTC offset (in minutes) using Date.getTimezoneOffset():
timestamp parameter should be in seconds, we do a little Math to hammer the current date and its UTC offset into that unit. And there we have it, a timestamp representing the current time and date since midnight, January 1, 1970 UTC, just as the doctor ordered.
If the target date you're interested in is NOT the current date/time, simply pass in a specific date string into
new Date() when instantiating it, such as:
This is useful for future or past related applications, such as counting down to Christmas 2025 Tokyo Time. See the myriad of ways to instantiate a Date object here.
Harada task chair. At the end the
apicall variable now contains the Google Time Zone request we can make to get back some useful information:
Making that call- getting the time for a specific location on Earth
We're now ready to use Ajax to pick up the phone and call the Time Zone API using the request string we just constructed above. The returned data provides us with the correct time zone and DST offsets for Tokyo, with which we can then use to determine the correct date and time for the city:
Lets go over the important bits now:
Google Utc Time Now
- We create a new instance of the
XMLHttpRequest()(Level 2) to make an Ajax request to the Time Zone API. FYI XMLHttpRequest2 is an improved version over the original
XMLHttpRequestobject, and is supported in all modern browsers and IE10+. If you require greater browser support you can of course revert to the original version instead, but I like the simplicity of the newer version.
xhr.onload, we check that the Ajax request was successful (
status 200), then retrieve the returned data (in JSON string format) and turn it into an actual JSON object using
JSON.parse. The end result looks similar to this, but in the form of an object.
- Inside the JSON object
output, we check its
statusproperty to make sure the Time Zone API didn't run into any turbulence fetching the requested time zone info. A value of 'OK' signals all went well, while any other value requires the pilot's attention. See here for the possible return values.
- Now we're ready to get to work. We retrieve the DST offset and Time Zone offset values from the JSON object for the current time in the target location. We convert the two values into milliseconds before adding them up to derive a total offset.
- The target location's date and time is calculated by adding up the value of the timestamp parameter with the total offset:
Date()object to get the target date and time as a Date object.
- From there on the sky's the limit on what we want to do with the current Tokyo time! In the above case, we simply opt to show it in local, human friendly format.
Speaking of the sky, lets climb a little higher with this local time endeavor. How about creating a live time display of any location on earth? We'll do that next.
- Displaying the Local Time of Any City using Google Time Zone API