OpenCensus and OpenTracing have merged into OpenTelemetry!



StartTime is a timestamp that records when the span was started.


EndTime is a timestamp that records when the span’s operation has been ended


Latency is the difference between the EndTime and StartTime

Span Lifetime

Span lifetime represents the process of recording the start and the end timestamps to the Span object:

  1. The start time is recorded when the Span is created. A span is only alive iff its StartTime has been recorded.
  2. The end time needs to be recorded when the operation is ended. It is important that a span be ended after its tracking operation ends.

The life of a span during an RPC or HTTP request is discussed under context propagation.


The visual below shows a span “Recv./players” whose StartTime was 2018-11-01 (01:28:03.165) and


Resource URL
StartTime proto proto/v1.Span.StartTime
EndTime proto proto/v1.Span.EndTime