The TimeZoneOffset Exif tag was proposed as an ISO photography standard several years ago but never made it into the EXIF standard or MWG guidelines.

I can write data to this tag using exiftool and exiv2, but other than these tools, I'm not aware of any photo management applications or programs — on any platform — which actually make use of the TimeZoneOffset Exif tag. Is there any possibility that this or a similar standard will make it into widespread use?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is the problem you are trying to solve? Need some context here. I assume you mean apps that control a phone camera and write exif information, as opposed to apps that read and use the information? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 19:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Guys, don't be so pedantic. The word apps can be read and understood as an abbreviation of the word application or program. As for an EXIF tag having nothing to do with photography ... ¿¿¿¿ ???? \$\endgroup\$
    – asp
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 23:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ asp - I don't see how this fits into our "on-topic" list, do you? Sure an EXIF tag is used in photography, we know that. But what are you trying to achieve with this Q&A? If the answer to this question ends up being "Yes, software XYZ" then what will you do with that information? How will it be applied to capturing/editing/techniques of photography and not programming per say? This was closed as unclear for those reasons I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 1:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ "techniques and best practices" \$\endgroup\$
    – asp
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 11:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've attempted an edit — maybe this will help. An alternate approach might be: Is there a best practice for storing timezone information in metadata? And that basically comes down to existing question What do you do with your camera clock time in relation to time zones? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


I don't think any significant software which uses this. The EXIF standard is to assume that the time zone matches the correct one for the location where the photo was taken.

Most cameras have ad hoc non-standard tags for dealing with this; for example, my Pentax camera sets World Time Location.

However, EXIF isn't all there is, and in fact I think most modern software instead concentrates on XMP, created by Adobe but now an ISO standard. Most relevantly, XMP has always included timezone as part of the specification. So, my advice would be to concentrate on that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ MWG specification suggests to prefer EXIF block when reading technical information, like camera Model, Lens,... Plus camera and image parameter specific info that is stored in EXIF:MakerNote block is not supported by XMP. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Murat Does that include time information? Does Daminion do anything with the non-standard EXIF TimeZoneOffset tag, or do you use the MakerNote info, or something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is why we can't have nice things. \$\endgroup\$
    – deltaray
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 3:20

As of 2020, this field is part of the standard (2.31, published 2016) and in practical use.

See also this answer: https://photo.stackexchange.com/a/97149/81459


@mattdm: According to the MWG specification any handling of metadata dates (Original DateTime, Digitized DateTime, DateTime) SHOULD cause both XMP and EXIF to be updated.

But handling metadata properly in most case is a nightmare, mainly because there are a lot of vendors who don't follow official specifications when writing metadata.

Daminion doesn't take into account the EXIF TimeZoneOffset tag, but take into account the XMP time zone info, because the XMP specification formats date/time values according to the Date and Time (W3C) document. In this standard, a time zone designator is required if any time information is present. So if XMP block is existed in an image along with the time information you can extract the time zone info from XMP. If XMP block is not existed and non-standard EXIF TimeZone info is missed you can try to locate TimeZone in EXIF:GPS block.


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