The time properties of temporal data can be set using the information stored in the data source. The temporal information can be stored in attribute fields for feature classes, stand-alone tables, or mosaic datasets. However, for specialized temporal data, such as netCDF, the time information is stored natively.
The time properties available for the layer vary depending on the dataset. For feature classes, stand-alone tables, and mosaic datasets, you can specify one field (time field) or two fields (a start time field and, optionally, an end time field). However, for netCDF feature layers, you can choose to specify either a time dimension or the attribute fields containing the time values. For netCDF raster layers, you can only specify the time dimension that allows you to visualize data over time. For data that includes both date and time information, you can optionally specify a time zone for the layer.
Non-OID tables do not support time visualization.
To set time properties, complete the following steps:
- Double-click the temporal dataset in the Contents pane to open the Properties dialog box.
- Click Time.
- Set Layer Time. Choose from one of the following options:
Use this option to disable time for the layer.
Each feature has a single time field.
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.
Each feature has a start and end time field.
Use this option if the feature has a start and end time stored in two fields. 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 your data are irregularly spaced. Learn more about irregularly spaced data.
Layer has time as a dimension.
Use this option if time is a dimension in the multidimensional dataset. This option is only available for netCDF feature layers and netCDF raster layers.
- For Layer Time based on a single field, set Time Field to the field that contains the time information.
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.
- 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.
- For Layer Time based on a time dimension, set Time Dimension to the appropriate dimension.
- When you select the field, if its field type is string or numeric, try to determine the best Time Format to use based on the time stamps in the field. You can also manually select the appropriate Time Format for the field.
- By default, the time extent of the data will be calculated as soon as you select a field. If the data is large, it is possible that only a sampling of the data will be used to determine the time extent. In this case, you will see a warning icon next to the Calculate button. Hover over the icon to read the message about the situation. If you want to calculate the full time extent using all the rows in the table, click Calculate. Alternatively, you can 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 your data and, specifically for string or numeric fields, verify that the time stamps are stored in one of the supported time formats.
- Optionally, if your 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 for the layer. This allows you to view your 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. 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.
This property is 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 your data. This allows you to align and visualize multiple temporal datasets through time.