To work with time-aware content, you must configure the layer's temporal properties to indicate where the data exists in time. This configuration can be either based on attribute fields in the data, such as the date and time of earthquakes, or set to a fixed extent for the entire layer, such as an aerial image with an effective lifespan of three months.
For data that contains temporal values, the time properties available for the layer vary depending on the dataset. For feature classes, stand-alone tables, catalog datasets, mosaic datasets, and netCDF feature layers, you can specify one field (time field) or two fields (a start time field and, optionally, an end time field). However, netCDF layers also allow you to specify a time dimension, which is the only time option for netCDF raster layers. For data that includes both date and time information, you can optionally specify a time zone for the layer.
Set time properties using attribute fields
To set time properties based on attribute fields, complete the following steps:
- Double-click the temporal dataset in the Contents pane to open the Layer Properties dialog box.
- On the Time tab, under Filter using time, choose the Filter layer content based on attribute values option. Choose from one of the following options:
Each feature has a single time field
For Layer Time based on a single field, set Time Field to the field that contains the time information.
Use this option if the time stamps are stored in a single attribute field. In this case, the feature exists at an instant in time.
Note:Features with null values in data with a single time field are not seen when the time slider is played as they cannot fall within a time span.
Each feature has a start and end time field
For Layer Time based on values stored in two fields, set Start Time Field and End Time Field to the corresponding fields that contain the start and end times. In this case, the feature exists for a certain duration in time.
Setting the end time field value is also useful if the time steps in the data are irregularly spaced. Learn more about irregularly spaced data.
When using either the DateOnly or TimestampOffset field to define durations in time, the same field type needs to be used for both the start and end time fields.
Layer has time as a dimension
For Layer Time based on a time dimension, set Time Dimension to the appropriate dimension.
Use this option if time is a dimension in the multidimensional dataset. This option is only available for netCDF layers.
- If a text field is used to define the time field, the Time Format option appears. Manually select the corresponding format from the drop-down gallery.
- For the Time Extentproperty, by default, the time extent of the data is calculated as soon as you select a field. If the data is large, it is possible that only a sampling of the data is used to determine the time extent. In this case, a warning icon appears next to the Calculate button. Hover over the warning icon to read the message about the situation. To calculate the full time extent using all the rows in the table, click Calculate. Alternatively, manually enter the time extent for the layer.
If the time extent is empty, it likely means that the time field did not contain any valid time stamps. If you are expecting the field to contain valid time stamps, investigate the data and, specifically for string or numeric fields, verify that the time stamps are stored in one of the supported time formats.
- Optionally, if the data includes continuous updates outside the application, such as current vehicle positions or weather data, check the Data is a live feed check box.
When this is set, an additional Live mode control is available on the time slider for automatically progressing the map's time extent with your system clock. When live mode is enabled, the layer is refreshed using the refresh rate set on the General page.
This option is not available for stand-alone tables.
- Set the Time Interval property for the layer.
The time step interval can be used to configure the map's time slider and define the offset of each step. Tick marks appear along the time slider when using the layer time step option. Choose from one of the following options:
No predefined time interval
This is the default. The time slider does not step based on the layer properties but instead uses a configuration set in the Step group on the Time tab.
View using a regular time interval
Use this option if the data was captured at regular intervals, such as hour temperature readings. Set the value and time unit. The time slider for the map can use this layer-defined property to step directly to each time value by choosing the Layer option in the Step group on the Time tab.
View using unique times within the data
Use this option if the data was captured at irregular intervals, such as earthquakes or power outages. The time slider for the map can use this layer-defined property to step directly to each unique time value by choosing the Layer option in the Step group on the Time tab. This option is only available if there are fewer than 1,000 unique time values in the layer. You can use a definition query to filter larger datasets to this limit, as needed.
- Optionally, set a Time Zone option for the layer. Optionally, check Adjust for Daylight Saving to view the data in daylight saving time, when applicable, or uncheck to always show it in standard time.
Time Zone allows you to view temporal content so it is aligned with other time-aware elements, such as the scene's lighting model, as well as mix together content from different time zones. The values from a time-aware layer are adjusted from their own time zone to the map's time zone.
This property is read-only for layers that use a DateOnly or a TimestampOffset field. For DateOnly data, content is filtered solely on the date portion of the time slider's temporal extent, treating the layer as though it has no time zone. For TimestampOffset data, the temporal offset to UTC time is stored in each value so there is no benefit to defining an additional time zone for the whole layer.
This property is also read-only for web feature layers. Time zone values are also displayed in the attribute table as a ToolTip when you hover over the column header, as well as on any calendar control when editing the value.
A web feature layer refers to a feature layer from a map or feature service.
- Optionally, set a Time Offset value for the data.
This allows you to align and visualize multiple temporal datasets through time.
- Click OK to apply the changes and close the Layer Properties dialog box.
Set time properties using a fixed time extent
To set time properties for an entire layer to a fixed time extent, complete the following steps:
- Double-click the layer in the Contents pane to open the Layer Properties dialog box.
- Click Time and choose The entire layer is shown within a fixed time extent option.
- Provide a start and end date value for the layer's fixed time extent .
The values can include a time component.
- Optionally, set a Time Zone option for the layer.
This allows you to view temporal content so it is aligned with other time-aware elements, such as the scene's lighting model, as well as mix together content from different time zones. When using the time slider to filter content, the map's time extent and time zone will be converted to time values in the layer's time zone. You can additionally check Adjust for Daylight Saving to view the data in daylight saving time, when applicable, or uncheck to always show it in standard time.
- Click OK to apply the changes and close the Layer Properties dialog box.