Supported field formats

When visualizing data through time, you must specify the field that contains the time stamps. These time stamps can be stored in a dedicated date, string, or numeric field type. For best performance, it is recommended that you store time stamps in one of the supported date field types—either Date, DateOnly, or TimestampOffset.


Dates stored in TimeOnly fields cannot be used to visualize time.

Learn more about best practices for storing temporal data

You can convert the string or numeric fields containing time stamps to a date field using the Convert Temporal Field tool. This tool allows you to convert time stamps stored in a variety of formats and store those into one of the supported date field types.

Learn more about converting time values stored in a string or numeric field into a date field

To use the time stamps stored in a string or numeric field type, you must determine the supported date format (see list below) and store the time stamps in the data based on one of these formats. All the supported formats require the date and time units to be listed from the largest time unit down to the smallest in order to support sorting and filtering. For example, 1999/02/27, not 02/27/1999 or 27/02/1999. If the string values are not in one of supported formats, you must convert the values to a new date field into a new field in one of the supported field types before you can use them to make the layer time-aware.

The following are the supported string field formats:

  • YYYY
  • YYYYMMDDhhmmss
  • YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss
  • YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss
  • YYYYMMDDhhmmss.s
  • YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss.s
  • YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss.s
  • YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.s
  • yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss.sZ

The following are the supported numeric field formats:

  • YYYY
  • YYYYMMDDhhmmss


  • YYYY = four-digit year
  • MM = two-digit month (01=January)
  • DD = two-digit day of month (01 through 31)
  • T = delimiter that concatenates the preceding date value and the following time value. (Typically seen in ISO formats.)
  • hh = two digits of hour (00 through 23) (A.M./P.M. not allowed)
  • mm = two digits of minute (00 through 59)
  • ss = two digits of second (00 through 59)
  • s = one digit of millisecond (0 through 9)
  • z = suffix that indicates the time value is in the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) time zone. (Typically seen in ISO formats.)


For temporal data with subsecond granularity, you can choose to store the time stamps in one of the following formats: YYYYMMDDhhmmss.s, YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss.s, YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss.s, or YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.s. Using this format, you can store time values that represent 1/1,000th of a second (1 millisecond), 1/100th of a second, or 1/10th of a second. For example, if you want to visualize data every millisecond, you can store the time value as 200911231030.560. In this case, the data will draw at the 560th millisecond (for the time 200911231030) when visualizing it with the time slider.

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