Date and time parameters

When configuring data ingestion from a feed or data source, you can specify the date and time parameters of the data in ArcGIS Velocity.

Date and time configuration

The date and time parameters of a feed or data source can be specified in the Identify Key Fields step in the Date and time section. For more information, see Identify key fields

Date and time

The features in a feed or data source may not have time fields available.

The Start Time, End Time, and Date Format values are not required to analyze and process data. However, some tools in real-time and big data analytics require a start time or a start time and end time to be defined to perform temporal analysis.

Additionally, if date information is represented as strings in the input data, a date format is required for Velocity to successfully parse the string into a date field.

Time types

The three time configurations are as follows:

  • Neither Start Time nor End Time key fields are specified. The data has no representation of time, for example, a country boundaries dataset with no date or time fields. Leave these parameters empty.
  • A Start Time key field is specified. The data records represent their state at that specific point in time, also known as instant time, for example, sensor observations that record the time of each reading.
  • Both Start Time and End Time key fields are specified. The data records represent the state of that feature or observation for that duration of time, also known as interval time, for example, thunderstorm forecast warning polygons with a start and end time of each warning.

Date format: epoch time

If the data represents dates with epoch time values (also known as UNIX time), you do not need to specify a date format. Epoch time is a system for describing a point in time as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 Thursday, 1 January 1970 (UTC). This can be specified as seconds since or milliseconds since this point in time. Example values of epoch time that can be processed by Velocity without specifying a date format are 1474675359 or 1474675359000.

Date and time specifying epoch value time

Date format: strings

Dates and date and times stored in a string field can be represented in many ways. For example, the following strings refer to the same point in time, but they are represented differently:

  • 2019-08-07T07:02:01.000Z
  • Aug 7, 2019 7:02:01
  • 20190807070201

If you have fields that express date values as strings, you need to specify a date format so that Velocity correctly parses the string into a date. This is done by providing a date and time formatting string in the Date Format parameter. Below are several examples of formatting date and time:

  • 2019-04-05T12:05:18.095Z
    • yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSS'Z'
  • 12/27/2015 16:39:20
    • MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm:ss
  • 2019-06-01T03:54:09+00:00
    • yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ssZZ
  • 2020-06-18T19:13:50.212867Z
    • yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSSSS'Z'


Velocity supports time up to milliseconds. Date strings with further precision must be defined as in the example above.

The elements that can be used to specify the date format for strings are listed in the table below. Additional information regarding the configuration of a date-time formatting string is available for the corresponding Joda time format DateTimeFormat class that is used to convert strings representing dates into date objects.

Date format string symbolDescriptionExample





month of year

July; Jul; 07


day of month



clockhour of halfday (1~12)



hour of day (0~23)



minute of hour



second of minute



fraction of second



halfday of day



time zone

Pacific Standard Time; PST


time zone offset/id

-0800; -08:00; America/Los_Angeles

Date and time specifying string format time to be converted

Date format: Esri date fields

If the data has date or date and time information stored in a date field, you do not need to specify a date format. Feature layers, shapefiles, and Parquet files can contain date fields that store date or date and time values. Velocity can load date and time values from these fields without additional parameters or settings.

Date and time specifying Esri date fields