ArcGIS Online Time Zone - Over-ride UTC default?

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07-21-2016 02:34 PM
AllenScully
Occasional Contributor II

Any way to get ArcGIS Online to stop using UTC and use your organizations local time?

We have several maps in AGOL that use a filter on a date/time field, displaying incidents for a specific day.  However, records for a given day (July 20 for example) actually show up as July 19 in AGOL, with no records returned, even though there were in fact incidents on the 20th. 

We are not able to modify the date properties in ArcMap or database side of things as far as time zone changes.  It is and has to remain in our local time. 

I understand why AGO does this, but it drives me crazy and would love it if someone had a workaround they could share. Hopefully it's easy/obvious and I have just missed it.

Thanks -

Allen

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
KellyGerrow
Esri Frequent Contributor

Thanks Jason,

There are solution in the publishing process for hosted services in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise to set the timezone. If you are using data collected in a local time zone with ArcGIS Server, I'd suggest creating a tool that converts local time to UTC prior to publishing if you have than two fields.

We are working on some projects for setting a specific timezone for some applications. That being said, time can be incredibly confusing when people from varying timezone and experiences may be viewing your data, especially with public maps. Currently, using UTC as a standard time and converting to local timezone is a consistent way to share date and time information with users without requiring the users to perform time conversions. I'd like to know more about you specific project to understand your needs further.

Is the map that you are creating only accessible to some users who are all in the same timezone or is it also accessible to the public? If someone in a different timezone was viewing your data, what would be the best way for them to understand the timezone of the original data vs. the timezone that they are reading in the map? Should this be defined by the map creator or the map reader?

Thanks for your feedback,

-Kelly

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40 Replies
DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

several ideas out there but I don't know if they were resolved https://community.esri.com/ideas/6934

especially since it says UTC must be entered in tables, implying you would have to do a calculation to your time Work with fields—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS

and then there is this big list of time issues in the Maps section of this link Troubleshoot—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS

which you might want to peruse to see if there is an acceptable workaround

KellyGerrow
Esri Frequent Contributor

Thanks for the great resources Dan!

Allen,

As mentioned in the documentation, it is a best practice to publish your data to ArcGIS Online in UTC time. You can set a time zone on up to two fields when publishing from ArcMap and you can select a timezone when publishing from a CSV.

Can you describe why you are unable to modify the date and time? Is it a technology limitation or a data policy? Either way, I'd like to learn a little more about your workflow if possible.

Thanks,

Kelly

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deleted-user-E_3mB_cypJsq
New Contributor II

I can't speak for everyone, but even if we could modify our dates and times, we wouldn't want to.  We store our dates and times in our local time.  Everything we do, business wise, is done in our local time.  It would be a huge inconvenience to store all of our data in a time zone that we will never use and never require.  I understand this from a global perspective, especially when AGOL is designed to allow the sharing of data, but then allow us to define the timezone on the service as a whole, not 1 or 2 columns.

KellyGerrow
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the feedback! Where do you store your data and how do you typically publish your data? Through ArcMap, Pro or ArcGIS Online? 

-Kelly

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deleted-user-E_3mB_cypJsq
New Contributor II

Our GIS data is stored in an Oracle Geodatabase. However, we do integrate with SQL Server non-spatial databases as well. We typically publish our data using ArcMap and create maps and apps on AGOL using map services from our external ArcGIS Server. Occasionally we store the data in AGOL as well.

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JasonFitzsimmons
New Contributor III

I'd like to add my two cents here, and say that ESRI should definitely provide a better option to show local time in ArcGIS Online.  There are 122 votes to change this  feature in the link above.  Why would anyone creating apps for a localized use (as in practically any municipal government) want to display anything other than local time in their apps? The ability to enable only two fields for local time is simply not sufficient for anyone creating apps that use multiple date fields.

KellyGerrow
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Jason,

There have been improvements made to setting local time for all fields during the publishing process. Check out this blog for best practices with time data.

https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/products/arcgis-enterprise/sharing-collaboration/mastering-the-spac... 

-Kelly

JasonFitzsimmons
New Contributor III

thanks--the main point I see in that link that might apply to use (in Rule #2) won't work, as we don't generally use hosted data, we keep our data on premise and publish services from our own servers (so no dropdown menu option to set time zone)...unless I missed something?

0 Kudos
KellyGerrow
Esri Frequent Contributor

Thanks Jason,

There are solution in the publishing process for hosted services in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise to set the timezone. If you are using data collected in a local time zone with ArcGIS Server, I'd suggest creating a tool that converts local time to UTC prior to publishing if you have than two fields.

We are working on some projects for setting a specific timezone for some applications. That being said, time can be incredibly confusing when people from varying timezone and experiences may be viewing your data, especially with public maps. Currently, using UTC as a standard time and converting to local timezone is a consistent way to share date and time information with users without requiring the users to perform time conversions. I'd like to know more about you specific project to understand your needs further.

Is the map that you are creating only accessible to some users who are all in the same timezone or is it also accessible to the public? If someone in a different timezone was viewing your data, what would be the best way for them to understand the timezone of the original data vs. the timezone that they are reading in the map? Should this be defined by the map creator or the map reader?

Thanks for your feedback,

-Kelly