Andy Woodruff

Cold, dark winter afternoons are horrible.

Like clockwork, it happens twice year. No, not just Daylight Saving Time—the kvetching about it.

The facts: DST does not actually reduce electric demand, as it was created to do. Additionally, it shatters delicate sleep schedules, leading to upwards of $400 million in economic losses each year. DST has also been linked to traffic accidents, heart attacks, Seasonal Affective Disorder, commuting snafus, and in my house, general unpleasantness and fist shaking.

But what would the country really look like without Daylight Saving Time? As Axis Maps cartographer Andy Woodruff points out in a recent blog post, its effects are not consistent across the United States. But even so, the time-turning phenomenon looks pretty horrifying for those who arise at the reasonable hour of 7 a.m.

Woodruff’s maps also assume you prefer a sunset after 5 p.m. Where should you live? The maps below may give you a hint.

(Courtesy Andy Woodruff)
(Courtesy Andy Woodruff)
(Courtesy Andy Woodruff)

The takeaway may be that if you love the sun, Hawaii is calling. The sun rises and falls before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. every single day. Those who do not want to flee across the Pacific might instead consider a move to the southeastern-most point of your local time zone.

But as with all things, moving for the sun comes with tradeoffs. “[M]aybe you could cut your coffee budget if you live on the western side of your time zone,” Woodruff writes. “Just remember you’d be giving up those wonderful summer evenings.”

Head over to Woodruff’s blog to play with an interactive version of the map and emerge with the largest lesson: Limited winter sun is miserable, no matter what the clock says.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  3. Equity

    Big Tech Ought to Step Up for Cities

    Leading high-tech firms have increasingly gone from heroes to villains in the eyes of their neighbors. It’s in their own interest to help make cities more affordable and inclusive.

  4. A homeless man sits along a sidewalk on East 42nd Street in the Manhattan borough of New York.
    POV

    America Can't Fix Poverty Until It Stops Hating Poor People

    A bipartisan plea to stop “othering” those living on the economic margins.

  5. Maggie Gyllenhaal walks the mean streets of 1971 New York City in HBO's "The Deuce," created by David Simon.
    Life

    David Simon Does Not Miss the Sleaziness

    The creator of HBO’s “The Deuce” talks about the rebirth of Times Square, other cities he loves, and why bureaucrats can be TV heroes, too.