# Calculating Short Driving Distances in ArcGIS 10.1

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01-24-2013 11:21 AM
New Contributor
Hi there,

I am looking to generate the shortest driving distances for a number of points but am unsure of exactly how to do it....

I have 200 random points, and I need to determine the shortest road distance from each point to every other point. I am assuming that Network Analyst can do this but I don't know exactly how.

Thanks so much!

Sarah
Tags (2)
7 Replies
Regular Contributor III
Hi Sarah,

Do you need to traverse all the points and get one route that finds the shortest route? In this case, you would need a network dataset with your street data and a Route solver. Here you could specify if you want to preserve the order of stops or you want to let the solver choose the best sequence automatically changing the order of stops.

Please consider going through the tutorial on using Route solver. The network dataset is available to you with the ArcGIS Desktop (so called ArcTutor). Just in case you don't have this or cannot download it via the Customer Care portal, please download them from the ArcGIS.com (I provided direct link to the data).
New Contributor
No, I do not need to traverse all the points in one route. I just need the shortest road distance from each individual point to every other individual point, separately. I attached an image to show my problem. The one on the left is one point to every other point (although I do need driving distance so the lines will not be straight like that). And the image on the right shows that every point needs the shortest route to every other point.

Ah yes! Thank you. I needed the network dataset and that was holding me back. I wasn't sure what to use. Thanks!

Sarah
Esri Regular Contributor
What you want is the OD Cost Matrix solver.  It does exactly what you describe.

If you're new to Network Analyst, you might benefit from some of the tutorials here: http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//00470000005r000000
Regular Contributor III
Sarah,

I agree, OD Cost Matrix would definitely let you solve the problem. You might like using Closest Facility solver, too. In case you would prefer this one, remember that you would need to set for the number of facilities to find a higher value than the default (which is 1). Let's take an example. Say you have 100 incidents and 100 facilies, then you need to set it to be 100 (this will let you find all the paths between all 100 by 100 locations.)

Just as aside comment, the difference between the OD Cost Matrix solver and the Closest Facility solver (from my experience) is that OD Cost Matrix runs faster (I guess this is because it does not need to return the geometry of the real path that is being taken by the shortest path found.)
New Contributor
Thanks!

I actually did find the OD Cost Matrix and was just attempting to run it now. It is taking forever. I will just have to play around more with both tools. Thanks you much for both of your help! I greatly appreciate your quick responses 😄

Sarah
New Contributor
Okay, I don't understand what I am doing wrong.

I have loaded all of my points (both as 'Origins' and 'Destinations'). But when I click Solve it just gives me a multitude of straight lines form point to point. None of them follow the network dataset I have created and am telling it to use.

Any clue where I am going wrong?

Sarah
Regular Contributor III
Sarah, the OD solver does take the network into consideration (so the route follows your network and the impedance you set); it just does not draw the actual route geometries to save the time.

If you need the actual geometries drawn, you might like using the Closest Facility solver.