Network Analyst Basics

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10-30-2012 09:25 AM
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Occasional Contributor
I am a PhD student and my project involves supply chain analysis in Montana. I want to use Network Analyst to analyze routes from logging operations and mill sites to potential conversion facilities and to refineries. My input road file is massive, and I got it from the Montana GIS website. I have been cleaning it up using the Topology toolbar, but there are still a lot of bugs.

My questions:
1. Is this the best input road file to use, or can I download and use an ESRI road file?
2. I created a network dataset with the file and ran the "stops" to see if it would give me an optimized route between two points, and it created the most convoluted path I've ever seen.

I could really use some pointers on how to set up the Impedances, and any other tips you have.

Thanks!
natalie m.


route[ATTACH=CONFIG]18850[/ATTACH]
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Esri does provide a North American dataset ready for routing. It is called Streetmap and it is included in the data and maps DVD that comes with the ArcGIS software. Alternatively you can also download it from Esri's customer care portal. Note that it is a read-only dataset and it is ready to route. It is not the most current data, but it is free.

The standard toolbar has the Find Route tool and that can use the online network dataset to find routes. But it is not available for any other analysis.

If you are getting convoluted routes that usually means the impedances are not set up properly and may be all zero. You can use the network identify tool, second icon from right on the NA toolbar to click on an edge and inspect its impedance values and how it is connected. Most likely you added a length impedance and then did not map it to any fields using the Evaluators button.

Once you have a network dataset set up, you should look at the Vehicle Routing Problem solver and the Location-Allocation solver to help you analyze the routes and/or location of the mills.

Jay Sandhu

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I am a PhD student and my project involves supply chain analysis in Montana. I want to use Network Analyst to analyze routes from logging operations and mill sites to potential conversion facilities and to refineries. My input road file is massive, and I got it from the Montana GIS website. I have been cleaning it up using the Topology toolbar, but there are still a lot of bugs.

My questions:
1. Is this the best input road file to use, or can I download and use an ESRI road file?
2. I created a network dataset with the file and ran the "stops" to see if it would give me an optimized route between two points, and it created the most convoluted path I've ever seen.

I could really use some pointers on how to set up the Impedances, and any other tips you have.

Thanks!
natalie m.


route[ATTACH=CONFIG]18850[/ATTACH]


You can try the ESRI data and see if it takes less clean up.  Take a look at the online help. There is a tutorial in there as well.

I'm leaving the tips and pointers out; unless you want me on your committee!  :cool:
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Thanks Joe. Do I need to download the ESRI data or can I just access it via the ESRI Online tool within GIS?

I have been through the tutorial. I'll walk through the "Building and Editing the Network Dataset" Help files again.
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Sorry- don't know the answer to that; I'm a roll-yer-own kinda guy and use my oown data for my analyses...

edited a moment later; That data is on the media discs I think...
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Hi,

Agreed with Joe. The ArcGIS Help for Network Analyst is comprehensive. Consider going through the tutorial regarding the building network dataset from scratch, it is *really* good. This will give you a good idea on how things works under the hood.

Regarding the data sources for network analysis, consider reading my forums post here. For the North America, there is a road dataset (not a network dataset yet!) available from ArcGIS.com. This should be a good start for your project, since the data is quite up-to-date and you should not have any issues setting the network dataset based on this data. Remember, that you can always clip the dataset to make it represent only your area of interest.

Good luck!
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Esri Regular Contributor
Esri does provide a North American dataset ready for routing. It is called Streetmap and it is included in the data and maps DVD that comes with the ArcGIS software. Alternatively you can also download it from Esri's customer care portal. Note that it is a read-only dataset and it is ready to route. It is not the most current data, but it is free.

The standard toolbar has the Find Route tool and that can use the online network dataset to find routes. But it is not available for any other analysis.

If you are getting convoluted routes that usually means the impedances are not set up properly and may be all zero. You can use the network identify tool, second icon from right on the NA toolbar to click on an edge and inspect its impedance values and how it is connected. Most likely you added a length impedance and then did not map it to any fields using the Evaluators button.

Once you have a network dataset set up, you should look at the Vehicle Routing Problem solver and the Location-Allocation solver to help you analyze the routes and/or location of the mills.

Jay Sandhu

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Occasional Contributor
Hi,

Agreed with Joe. The ArcGIS Help for Network Analyst is comprehensive. Consider going through the tutorial regarding the building network dataset from scratch, it is *really* good. This will give you a good idea on how things works under the hood.

Regarding the data sources for network analysis, consider reading my forums post here. For the North America, there is a road dataset (not a network dataset yet!) available from ArcGIS.com. This should be a good start for your project, since the data is quite up-to-date and you should not have any issues setting the network dataset based on this data. Remember, that you can always clip the dataset to make it represent only your area of interest.

Good luck!



Thank you so much for the link to the tutorial. That is MUCH more helpful than the tutorial ESRI currently has online for Network Analyst.
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