Skip To Content

Visualize temporal data using the time slider

The time slider is automatically available in the upper right corner of any map or scene that contains temporal layers. It provides controls that allow you to visualize temporal data. To use the time slider, ensure that you have enabled time on one or more layers in the map.

Time slider and its controls

To interact with the slider and its controls, move the pointer near the space where the slider is visible at the top of the map view. When the slider is not being used, many of the controls are hidden to simplify its appearance and give the primary focus to the map.

Controls on the time slider

Time slider itemDescription

Time slider controls

Drag these controls along the slider bar to set the map time interactively.

Enable/Disable time

Toggle between displaying data based on the time constraints set using the time slider controls and displaying all the data without any time constraints.

Full time extent

Sets the time extent of the slider to the full time extent defined in the time slider settings.

Show/Hide time slider

Show or hide the time slider. Hiding the time slider will not automatically disable time. The current time setting is still applied and if the slider is playing, this continues as well.


Play a time animation that steps through time sequentially. Playback direction, speed, and whether to repeat or reverse can be configured from the time slider settings. While playing, the Pause button displays in its place.

Step Forward/Back

Move forward or backward in time by the amount of time defined in the time slider settings.

Visible time span

The timestamps at the bottom of the slider control display the current time in the map. Each timestamp corresponds to a slider control. When both controls are active, the map time is represented as a time extent or the time between the start time control and the end time control. If either the start time or end time control is disabled, its corresponding timestamp will not show. This indicates that the map time is either all time before or all time after the given timestamp. When time is disabled in the map, no timestamps display.

Minimum and Maximum extent

The timestamps above the slider bar show the time extent of the time slider. The time extent of the slider can be modified by dragging the slider controls beyond the extent of the time slider, clicking the full time extent command, or rotating the wheel button over the time slider to zoom in and out.

Layer time extent

The colored fill in the slider bar represents the time extent of one or more temporal layers in the map. Areas without a fill are time periods where there is no temporal data.

Tips for interacting with the time slider

  • You can modify the time extent of the slider by rotating the mouse wheel in or out over the time slider. Similar to zooming in or out in the map, this zooms in or out on the time extent of the slider.
  • When time is disabled in the map, you can click anywhere on the slider bar to enable time. It brings the end time slider control to the position you click.
  • Hide the slider if you just want to set a time and return your focus to interacting with the map. When hidden, the slider control no longer appears on top of the map, but the time setting is still applied to the map.
  • For improved performance during playback, allow the time slider to play through once completely. Each time step is cached so the next time you play the visualization, it pulls from the cache and, as a result, draws much quicker at each step.

Keyboard shortcuts to interact with the time slider

The playback commands for Play, Pause, Step Forward and Step Back have keyboard shortcuts to assist in the interactive experience when viewing time data. The view must be active and the active tool must be the Explore tool in order to utilize these keyboard shortcuts.



Play/Pause: Play through the entire sequence of time with the direction and speed defined in the time slider settings or press the shortcut again to pause.

Ctrl+Shift+ Right arrow

Step Forward: Move forward in time by the step amount defined in the step settings on the Time tab.

Ctrl+Shift+Left arrow

Step Back: Move backward in time by the step amount defined in the step settings on the Time tab.

Related topics