These Maps Will Show You Exactly How Pointless Daylight Savings Time Is

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Daylight savings time (DST) was introduced over the course of the last century in many areas of the world to help decrease energy use and give people an extra hour of light in the summer. 

It perhaps seems counterintuitive, then, that we actually lose an hour of sunlight in the winter evenings, when sunlight is already in short supply as it is. Some reports have linked DST to spikes in heart attacks, sleep disturbances and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most frustrating of all, it's not even believed to reduce our electricity demand. So, what would it look like if we abolished daylight savings times?

Axis Maps cartographer Andy Woodruff has created some visualizations of his analysis of DST across the United States. He looks at “reasonable” hours of sunrise and sunset, loosely based on the majority of people’s patterns (ie. an average American 9-to-5 work day).

Overall, it’s a pretty strong argument to get rid of DST all together (unless you're a true night-owl or a night-shift worker).

Here’s how the status quo looks in Woodruff’s projections:

Image credit: Andy Woodruff

Below shows how the map would look if we scrapped daylight savings time. Overall, the sunset map barely changes, except there would be a significant increase in sunrises before 7am, especially among the most western areas of the time zones.

Image credit: Andy Woodruff

Below, the map shows what would happen if we always had DST in action. Whilst the sun would barely ever rise before 7am, it would nearly never set later than 5pm.

Image credit: Andy Woodruff

Head over to Andy Woodruff's blog for more information and analysis, as well as an interactive map where you can pinpoint your area's sunrises and sunsets.


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