We’re excited to announce the availability of 4 new field types that revolutionize the way we work with date, time, and numeric data in ArcGIS Online. In this article, we’ll introduce the new field types, explore use cases to highlight the practical applications of each, and offer tips to help you seamlessly view, store, and edit data using the new field types. These new field types are:
Whether you’re managing temporal data, numerical values, or intricate time zone conversions, these field types can offer an improved mapping and data management experience.
New Field Types
Date and Time
Many feature layers store date and time information. This data could represent a point in time when a feature was mapped, or last inspected. Previously, ArcGIS Online only provided the Date field type, which combined both date and time values; each date value has an associated time value, and vice versa. These new field types allow you to store date values, time values, or both separately, depending on your requirements. The Date only, Time only and Timestamp offset field types offer you more options and flexibility for managing your date and time data.
That’s not all, we also added a new field type for big integers. The Big integer field is designed to handle extremely large integer values that exceed the capacity of the regular Integer field type. With the Big integer field, you can store and work with values ranging from -9,007,199,254,740,991 (the minimum safe integer) to 9,007,199,254,740,991 (the maximum safe integer). This expanded range allows for more flexibility when dealing with large numerical data in your projects.
Exploring the Possibilities
Whether you’re dealing with temporal data, numerical values, or time zones, the new field types offer flexibility and efficiency. In this section, we’ll explore some examples of how they can be used in Map Viewer. Leveraging the new field types, you’ll be able to visualize and analyze data with greater precision and clarity. Feel free to explore these web maps that highlight some potential use cases in Map Viewer.
Example A- Season Open & Close Dates
In this example, we have a map using some of the new field types to display information about Park Entrances.
- Click to open the Park Entrance Stations map in a new window
- Click on the station on the North Rim of the Park to open the Pop-up
- You’ll see these new field types:
- Date only fields display the start and end dates for the season
- Time only fields display the entrance station hours, and
- a Big integer field displays the Building ID
Let’s have a look at some other new features that can be used to help with managing temporal data.
The Timestamp offset field type stores the date and time along with the time zone the data was collected in. This is particularly useful for mapping phenomenon that occur across multiple time zones. From earthquakes to car accidents, recording the time zone along with the date and time allows us to tell powerful stories about how events are distributed throughout the day across different time zones.
Time zones are stored as offsets representing the difference (in hours and minutes) between UTC/GMT and the local time. For example,
- Pacific Time is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
- the time zone offset is GMT-8,
- which is stored as -08:00
- so October 10, 2023 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time,
- or 10/10/2023, 3:00 pm, GMT-8,
- is stored as 2023-10-10T15:00:00.000-08:00
Web Map Time Zone
In the past, the date and time values were always displayed in the time zone of the device. Now you have more control over how time zone aware fields (Date and Timestamp offset) display in the map. With the latest update, time zone is now a property you can set on your web map, giving you control over the way some fields are presented. To learn more, check out this article on Working with Time Zones in Map Viewer.
Example B- Hurricane Activity across Multiple Time Zones
To see how a timestamp offset field can be used to compare data across time zones, we’ll explore a map of tropical storms across the globe. In this map, the web map time zone is set to Data’s time zone. With this option enabled, the timestamp offset field in the pop-up displays the date, the time, and the time zone offset. This allows map users to easily compare and analyze the temporal information of tropical storms across different time zones.
- Click to open the Hurricane Activity map in a new window
- Click on a point to open the pop-up
- You’ll see these new field types:
- Date only– the date the location was collected
- Time only– the time the location was collected
- Timestamp offset– the date, time, and time zone offset for each location
Getting started with New Field Types in ArcGIS Online
If you’re eager to dive in and explore these new field types, we’ll guide you through the process. To get started, you can add them as new fields to new or existing hosted feature layers that you own or administer in ArcGIS Online.
Add New Fields
To add new fields to hosted feature layers on the Data tab, follow these steps:
- Open the layer’s details page in ArcGIS Online.
- Click the Data tab.
- Click the Options button .
- Click Add Field.
- Set the Field Name, Display Name, and
- Choose the Type: In the Type drop-down menu, you’ll see the new field types in the list of options. Choose one.
- Set any additional properties such as default values for the field.
- Click Add New Field.
Edit Data using New Field Types
You can add the new fields to new or existing forms using the form authoring component, Form builder. Forms make editing new fields easy with the use of date and time pickers, and a drop-down menu for selecting the time zone offset. To get started building forms, look for the forms button in Map Viewer. For more information on how to get started creating your own forms, see this article on using Smart Forms in Map Viewer. It provides instructions, tips, and best practices to help you make the most of forms.
Where you can Find New Field Types
- ArcGIS Pro 3.2 – New field types are supported by ArcGIS Pro version 3.2. Check out this article to learn more about what’s new in ArcGIS Pro 3.2.
Our future plans to add broader support for new field types include capabilities like smart mapping, filtering, generating charts, and working offline. In addition, support for these new field types is coming across the entire ArcGIS platform, including ArcGIS Enterprise, Field Maps, and more. Keep an eye out for them in upcoming releases.
We’re excited to introduce this improved experience for viewing, storing, and editing data using these new field types. This marks the initial phase of our plans to simplify the management of date, time, and big integer data throughout the ArcGIS ecosystem. Take some time to get acquainted with these new field types. Visit ArcGIS Online Help for more information on how to use them to maximize the potential of your own data. Stay tuned for more updates and resources and be sure to join the conversation on ESRI Community to let us know your thoughts.