I have two groups of locations (possible parking spots and entrances to a specific building). I want to find one route between the two groups and disregard all of the other points. Can I do this with the Route tool or Closest Facility? I also need to be able to output Directions after and translate this to a web application but I am mostly concerned about getting the process to run in the ArcMap 10.1 desktop environment
Jay, I am not doing the same thing as that forum post you posted a link to. I only want one single route that shows the shortest possible route from group one to group two. I do not want many routes or an OD cost matrix that gives information for every point I only care about the shortest.
if you have two groups of points and you want only the shortest one back then the only way to do this is to solve for all with the OD Cost Matrix, pick the shortest pair and put that into a Route solver and solve it to get the route geometry or directions. You can also use the Closest Facility to solve all and then pick the shortest and get directions. But that may take much longer depending on how many points are in each group. That is, there is no other way to know, without computing them all, which pair will give you the shortest path between two sets of points.
On second thoughts, If you want to more than just selecting points, make be have a look at "cluster analysis" , may be you would want to add some weights within your group of points, have some criteria, constraints etc to select a best point among groups and then do the suggestions from Jay.