Time zone issue: GMT vs BST

iNaturalist always changes the correct GMT time I enter, and converts it to an incorrect BST time.

OS: Windows 10.
Browser: Firefox, version 75.0 (32 bit).
URL: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42959220

I always use GMT for my observations. I don’t use BST. iNaturalist takes the correct GMT times I enter and converts them to incorrect BST times. iNaturalist conversions from GMT to BST are out by one hour. iNaturalist does not seem to understand that when daylight saving is in operation, BST times are one hour later than GMT times. I don’t want my times converted to BST, but could live with it if iNaturalist made the correct conversions. It doesn’t!

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(I moved this to a separate bug report since it’s not quite the same problem)

Can you clarify this? If you say you observed something at 20:17 in April (i.e. during British Summer Time) in England, did your watch read 20:17 or 21:17?

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i don’t think this is a bug exactly. i don’t think the system takes into account the time zone offset in your photo metadata or what you enter in that box that you’re pointing to in your Edit screen screenshot. i think it only cares about what time zone you have set in your account settings (or maybe whatever time zone has been associated with that particular observation, which in this case is London, which uses BST right now), and it assumes that any time you input is for that particular time zone. so if you want to always use GMT for input, you might try setting up a different default time zone in your account settings (one that doesn’t change over to BST). the downside there might be that you wouldn’t see dates displayed in BST. (they would show GMT instead, even when BST is in effect.)

it’s a little odd, but i think that’s the way it goes. you can read more here: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/automatic-time-zones/7760/9.

But the system does actually care about what you enter in that box, I just checked and it easily changes time zone, not depending on which is in my settings. So it sounds quite odd why it changes zone. Maybe it is because the London is chosen.


ok… you’re right. i guess the system assumes GMT+00:00 is London time. so then if you set the time in the box to GMT (instead of GMT+00:00), then it’ll interpret that as UTC. (setting it to UTC doesn’t work, nor does just +00:00.) interestingly, i tried to set a test observation at UTC back to CDT, and i had to use GMT-06:00 to set to to CDT. using CDT doesn’t change it (although it does change it if i go from PDT to CDT)…


Looks like you use the Android app - what does the date/time look like on the details page before you upload the observation? Can you please share a screenshot?