New ArcGIS extension provides animation of time-varying data for free use by GIS community

NARRAGANSETT, RI – Applied Science Associates, Inc. (ASA) announced the release of breakthrough extension tool for ESRI’s ArcGIS industry standard GIS software.   ASA’s TimeSlider is an extension for ArcGIS 9.1 that provides functionality to animate feature data that has date and time information.  

“One of the challenges with managing 2 and 3-dimensional geospatial data is displaying and understanding data as it evolves over time,” explains Eoin Howlett, ASA’s CEO, who recently assigned a dedicated software development team to developing more freeware and useful GIS tools.

Many geographically-based phenomena ranging from geological processes to short-term movement of vehicles or marine mammals require temporal analysis. ASA’s TimeSlider extension allows ArcMap users to specify a field that contains date and time information for geographic features. The TimeSlider can manage multiple time-varying layers, including layers that have different time steps.

The TimeSlider extension has been used to manage time-varying data such as:
  •     Time series observation data from multiple points (e.g. current meters, wind stations, water quality sensors)
  •     Satellite derived observation data (e.g. sea surface temperature)
  •     Moving objects (e.g. drifting buoys, vehicles, vessels)
  •     Numerical model Results (e.g. oil spills, hydrodynamic simulations, sediment transport)
  •     Intelligent agent models (e.g. bird movement, pandemic outbreak, fish schooling, crowd simulation)
  •     Emergency personnel and resource deployments
The free installation includes sample time-varying feature data:
  •     Particles (point features) that represent a simulation of avian flocking behavior over time
  •     Concentrations (polygon features) that represent concentrations of benzene in a moving air plume
  •     Surface water currents from a computer model represented as point features with speed and direction attributes
  •     Oil spill concentrations
  •     Flood inundation predictions.

“We’ve built and have been using this tool ourselves for a number of key projects related to climate change, oil spill response and maritime search and rescue, and we felt that it could help GIS professionals and scientists using ESRI GIS tools,” Mr. Howlett mentioned as he discussed the freeware release.

The TimeSlider extension has been made available by ASA for free download and use via the ASA Web site at

For more information about ASA visit

About Applied Science Associates (ASA):
ASA is a global science and technology solutions company. Through consulting, environmental modeling, and application development, ASA helps a diverse range of clients investigate their issues of concern and obtain functional answers.

ASA’s solutions are based on applied science and advanced research. Our services and products, along with our staff’s diverse technical backgrounds, are specialized in the analysis of marine, freshwater, air, and land resources; computer modeling of physical, chemical, and biological processes; geographic information systems (GIS); operational research; and data display.

Headquartered in Narragansett, RI, ASA also has offices in Australia, Brazil, and Dubai. The company’s website,, contains numerous scientific reports written by its staff and extensive information about its products and services.


Lee Dooley
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