Many GIS datasets contain a measure of time for each feature or raster, and you can use these temporal attributes to create, visualize, and work with time-aware layers. The most common method is to set time properties for a map layer and to use the Time Slider tool to visualize the layer at various points in time.
For example, you might have recorded events by time such as animal tracking locations, crime events, disease cases, urban growth, weather patterns, storm tracks, and so on.
You can also combine multiple time-aware layers in a common map display.
Time properties for a layer
You can enable time properties for a map layer on the Time tab on the Layer Properties dialog box.
The Time Slider tool for map display
Once you have enabled time for a layer, you can open the Time Slider tool on the Tools toolbar to visualize time-aware layers in your map document.
You can use the time slider to view layers for various points in time or for events that fall within a time window.
See What is temporal data? to learn more about working with time-aware layers.