Many feature layers store date and time (temporal) information. The date and time might represent when a feature was in a specific location or when a feature was first observed in the real world. Or the date and time might relate to other nonspatial attributes in the layer, such as when a property was sold, the last time a sample was taken from a specific water body, or the date and time a fire engine was dispatched from a specific fire station.
In ArcGIS Online, you can enable time animation in maps so that the people who use your maps can see changes over time. You can also change the styling in the map to highlight temporal differences between features and include date or date and time information in pop-ups you configure for your layer.
Temporal data is stored in date fields in hosted feature layers. To correctly add, edit, or interpret date values in hosted feature layers, it is important to understand how dates are stored and displayed in ArcGIS Online. Keep the following in mind when working with date fields:
Enter dates in MM/DD/YYYY hh:mm:ss format
You can add date values to feature layers using the date and time drop-down menus in Map Viewer, the Data tab of the layer's item page, or an application. If you calculate a date field's values to populate the field, dates must be typed in MM/DD/YYYY hh:mm:ss format, enclosed in single quotation marks. For example, to set a date field to 5:00 PM on May 27, 2014, you would type '05/27/2014 05:00:00PM', '05/27/2014 5:00PM', or '05/27/2014 17:00:00' (24-hour clock). Storing time alone is not supported—time must always be a component of a date. If you do not provide a time, the time defaults to 12:00 a.m.
Published date fields store time in UTC
Coordinated Universal Time (abbreviated UTC) is nearly equivalent to the current time at Earth's prime meridian (zero degrees longitude), located near Greenwich, England. UTC is a more precise version of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). When you publish feature layers containing date fields from files or an ArcGIS Desktop app, specify whether the date values are in the local time zone or in UTC time. If the date fields contain local time zone information, you must specify this when you publish the layer. This enables the publishing process to transform the local time data into UTC for storage in the database. The time values will then appear correctly in your local time when you view them in ArcGIS Online. However, the data is converted to and stored in UTC time in the database. Dates are converted to UTC because the physical location of the server hosting your data and the people viewing the maps that contain your data can be anywhere in the world. Storing the time in UTC allows ArcGIS Online to transform the data to the correct local time zone regardless of the location of the server or the viewer of the application.
When a date field is displayed in ArcGIS Online, the date is converted from UTC to your local time. This is done by querying your computer and asking it for its time zone setting. For example, suppose your computer is set to pacific standard time (PST). PST is eight hours behind UTC—when UTC is 9:00 a.m, it is 1:00 a.m. PST (or 2:00 a.m. if daylight saving time is in effect).
When you calculate date and time values using the SQL standard date functions, you must provide the time in UTC. When the calculated value is displayed in the table, it will show in local time. For example, if your local time is PST and you type '05/27/2014 12:23:00 PM' as a value when calculating, the value in the calculated fields will display with a time conversion based on your computer time. In this example, the calculated value will display as '05/27/20140 5:23:00 AM'.
For tips on using time data in ArcGIS Online, see the blog, Mastering the Space Time Continuum: Considerations for Publishing Date Fields to the Web.
Supported date formats in files
When you add files, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, comma-separated values (CSV), or other delimited text files, ArcGIS Online recognizes only the following date formats:
Supported date and time formats include the following:
M/DD/YYYY 12-hour time
7/28/2009 5:23 AM or 7/28/2009 05:23 AM
M/DD/YYYY 24-hour time
7/28/2009 5:23 or 7/28/2009 05:23
M/DD/YY 12-hour time
7/28/09 5:23 AM or 7/28/09 05:23 AM
M/DD/YY 24-hour time
7/28/09 5:23 or 7/28/09 05:23
MM/DD/YY 12-hour time
07/28/09 5:23 AM or 07/28/09 05:23 AM
MM/DD/YY 24-hour time
07/28/09 5:23 or 07/28/09 05:23
MM/DD/YYYY 12-hour time
07/28/2009 5:23 AM or 7/28/2009 05:23 AM
MM/DD/YYYY 24-hour time
07/28/2009 5:23 or 7/28/2009 05:23
Month DD, YYYY
July 28, 2009
Day of week, Month DD, YYYY
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Day of week, Month DD, YYYY 12-hour time
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 5:23 AM or Tuesday, July 28, 2009 05:23 AM
Month DD, YYYY 12-hour time
July 28, 2009 5:23 AM or July 28, 2009 05:23 AM
Month DD, YYYY 24-hour time
July 28, 2009 5:23 or July 28, 2009 05:23
Fields configured in an unsupported or invalid format will be created as string data type in ArcGIS Online.
Change display format of a date field
You can change how dates are displayed in the table. Tables display with the same formatting configured in pop-ups. You can change the display format of a date field by selecting the field alias in the Configure Attributes window of Pop-up Properties.