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Working with time data (ArcObjects .NET 10.8 SDK)
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Working with time data

This topic discusses the purpose of the time application programming interface (API) in ArcGIS and how it can be used.

In this topic

About working with time data

The ArcObjects software development kit (SDK) provides a number of classes and interfaces to represent time in different ways. There is built-in functionality to read time values in different formats, manipulate time values, work with time zones, and change the way data is displayed based on the time that it is relevant.

Attaching time to data

A time value can be stored and represented in many different ways. It can be stored using a numerical value, a text value, or specialized binary formats created specifically for time values. The data you use to create your maps may already have a time value included as an attribute of the records, or the entire data set may have a specific time range for which it is valid. The time values you work with can have varying levels of accuracy ranging from years down to sub-second accuracy. ArcGIS allows you to work with all of these types of data.

Time in the data

If the data you're working with is stored as a set of records, you can store the time of each record as an attribute of the record. The time value can be stored as a text string, a numerical value, or a date data type. The time value can be a single field representing the time the data was recorded, or it can be a pair of fields representing the range of time over which the data is valid.

Time outside the data

If the data you're working with is not stored as a set of records, or it does not have time as an attribute of the records, then you must identify a valid time period for the data set.

Tracking Analyst and time

The Tracking Analyst extension allows you to view data containing temporal content. Starting with ArcGIS 10, you can integrate tracking layers with other layers that contain temporal data. The tracking layers (TemporalFeatureLayer) implement the same time interfaces that other layers do, allowing the tracking layers to respond to time changes in ArcGIS. This means that you do not need to do anything special to make tracking layers respond to time changes in ArcGIS. However, tracking layers support different types of time-related symbology that is not available in standard feature layers. To access this specialized symbology, use the time interfaces in the Tracking Analyst library rather than those in the System library.
Tracking layers (TemporalFeatureLayer) are different from feature layers in that they only support a single time (not a combination of start time and end time).

See Also:

Tracking Analyst library overview

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