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Map time-aware data


This tool is only available for ArcGIS feature layers or layers created using Excel data.

Temporal data includes time and date information for geographic locations. If the data contains temporal values (date), you can add a time-aware layer to a map and run an animation that shows how patterns in the data change over time.


When the data contains time-only fields (as opposed to date and time fields), ArcGIS for Excel converts these values to text strings to display them in pop-ups. Because of this, unlike true date and time values, time-only values cannot be used in time animations.

When you enable time animation on a map layer, you use the Time pane to configure the field in the data that contains the time information. You can also configure the animation slider to specify playback speed, time interval, and whether to display cumulative data on the map.

Enable time animation

To view a time animation, the data used to create the map layer must contain date and time information. To enable time animation on a layer, do the following:

  1. In ArcGIS for Excel, sign in to ArcGIS.
  2. From the map tools, click Layers Layers.

    The layer list appears.

  3. At the top of the layer list, click Layer options Layer options.

    The layer options appear.

  4. Select the layer to modify from the Active layer drop-down menu.
  5. From the layer options, select Time.

    The Time pane appears.

  6. Turn on the Enable time animation toggle button.

    The Time field drop-down menu becomes active and a time slider appears at the bottom of the map.

    Time pane with time slider visible
  7. From the Time field drop-down menu, choose the column in the data that contains the date and time information to animate.

    The drop-down menu only displays columns that contain temporal data.

  8. To turn off time animation on a layer, turn off the Enable time animation toggle button.
  9. Click the Back button Back/ Return to return to the layer list.

Use the time slider

The time slider appears as an animation control overlaid on the map. You can define the time intervals shown. Time slider settings apply to all time-animated layers on a map.


You can turn the time slider on or off by clicking the close button Close.

There are several controls you can use to manipulate a time animation.

Time slider controls
  1. See the date and time range of the current interval.
  2. Drag the interval along the slider to manually control the data appears on the map. You can also move the interval handles individually to display a specific time range or adjust the interval.
  3. See information for the beginning of the date and time range of the layer.
  4. Use the animation controls. Click Play Play to begin the animation. When the animation is playing, this changes to a Pause button Pause. Click Previous Previous to move the animation to the previous time interval, and click Next Next to move the animation to the next time interval.
  5. See information for the end of the date and time range of the selected layer.


When you select features on a time-aware layer and run the time animation, only the features visible during a specific time period are visible during the animation.