Time slider, Map Viewer Beta, time enabled data, earlier centuries, geological time, Time Slider widget

11-21-2020 05:53 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor III

Time slider in Map Viewer Beta:

I welcome the Time slider in Map Viewer Beta. However, there are some issues:

I have some time enabled data ranging from 21 September 2019 to 14 November 2019, but the start and end dates won't move beyond March 2019!

Only US date format is permitted. Please enable other formats.


Visualisation of earlier centuries and geological time

Earlier centuries: Improve the way AGOL reads data for 19th century and earlier. This is important when using historical data and archaeological data.

Provide scope for geological time e.g. if using time enabled data about ancient volcanic activity or tectonic plate motion; enable reading of data such as BP, MYA, GA

Time slider title and scale options:

Please make it possible to configure the Time slider title and scale e.g. in the Time Aware app (this has disappeared - a great shame given that the Map Viewer Beta options aren't ready!) it was possible to do this to some extent. This is especially important if a work around has been necessary for 'difficult' time ranges e.g. earlier centuries and geological time (as above).

The Time Slider widget in the Web App Builder provides a little more flexibility, but it is also disappointingly limited.

Here is an example, where the workaround would be to hide the Time Slider 'title', but the best that can be done is to use Date and time format > Custom and type a couple of dots .. but even then a strange default 'to' appears. There must be a better way!


Happy to discuss all of the above.


@BrendanConway2 your map looks great! I was wondering if you could tell me how you were able to set up the time slider bar on ArcGIS Online? I can't seem to format my excel dataset correctly for the settings to allow me to turn on the time slider. Please let me know what you did!


Hi Oliviam22

Getting the time settings correct can be very tricky. There are all sorts of substantial and trivial reasons why they sometimes won't work.

I uploaded a csv with a column for Year. In that I put artificial dates because I'm not sure how to include the real dates over such vast time periods - in fact it may be impossible.

So I used a sequence of years like this




and formatted these cells as Number > Date > *14/03/12 for English (United Kingdom)

I hope that helps!


We ran into this issue with time sliders for earlier timescales as well and ended up using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript to develop a webmap with a TimeSlider widget that solved the problem. I wrote up a blog post on how to do this over on the ArcGIS API for JavaScript blog; it includes instructions as well as the required code. Perhaps this can be of use to someone who comes across this question in the future.


Hi Abbey_Roelofs

Many thanks. I can see the logic here - that's a clever solution that I may well try, but I'm not up to much with coding!


@BrendanConway2  and @Abbey_Roelofs 

Thank you both so much! I will definitely look into your suggestions and see if they will work with my data.