# Network Analyst. Functionality

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04-23-2014 05:36 AM
New Contributor
I need to find the shortest distance between three towns, and suggest the cheapest cost to build a pipeline that will cross these 3 towns. I have 25 towns total and data for each of them: roads and cost based on lenght. I want to know if it is possible to solve this with network analyst since I had tried and I have to enter an start and end point (or an incident). In this case a don't have references, only points (or the towns locations). How do I do this?

Data: 25 towns locations
Road network between towns

Need: shortest distance for 3 towns out of the 25 towns
the cost wil be based on the length of the route.
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4 Replies
Frequent Contributor III
Do you want the pipeline to follow existing roads?
Can it just cut across fields etc...?

I would suggest using Google Maps and placing a marker and getting driving directions to the next location and from there to the next location

I need to find the shortest distance between three towns, and suggest the cheapest cost to build a pipeline that will cross these 3 towns. I have 25 towns total and data for each of them: roads and cost based on lenght. I want to know if it is possible to solve this with network analyst since I had tried and I have to enter an start and end point (or an incident). In this case a don't have references, only points (or the towns locations). How do I do this?

Data: 25 towns locations
Road network between towns

Need: shortest distance for 3 towns out of the 25 towns
the cost wil be based on the length of the route.
New Contributor
My main concern is knowing if network analyst tools can help me to find the shorts distance between three town from the 25 towns locations.

Do I always need a reference or destination point? like for example closest facilities or best route.

For example it will be easy to calculate de best route to get from town 1 to 4 or 25 and to 9 but for these I need to start at 1 and specify that I am going to 4, 25 and 9

or if I wanted to know the closest town from town 5 also have to enter the reference first and find the closest town based on distance.

In this case where I don't have a starting point nor an end point. I have to compare each against all others and find three towns that are closer to each other than the others. What tool does these?
Frequent Contributor III
If you do not have a start or end point how can you possibly calculate a route?

does your data have weights built into it?
Weights in this case would be used to determine the cost adder to go through a particular area.  If the pipeline is going through a flat area and not crossing any roads it would have a lower resistance.  etc...

If it does not you may need to have to build in weights to get NA to calculate a route of least resistance.

My main concern is knowing if network analyst tools can help me to find the shorts distance between three town from the 25 towns locations.

Do I always need a reference or destination point? like for example closest facilities or best route.

For example it will be easy to calculate de best route to get from town 1 to 4 or 25 and to 9 but for these I need to start at 1 and specify that I am going to 4, 25 and 9

or if I wanted to know the closest town from town 5 also have to enter the reference first and find the closest town based on distance.

In this case where I don't have a starting point nor an end point. I have to compare each against all others and find three towns that are closer to each other than the others. What tool does these?
Esri Regular Contributor
It is not clear what you mean by 3 towns and you have 25 towns.

The Route solver has an option to find the Best order to visit the stops and you can choose NOT to preserver the first or last stop. That way, it will solve the best way to visit all the stops that you load in. You can load in all 25 and solve or you can load 3 that you want. If this is not what you are looking for then please explain more.
More help here:
http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/#/Route_analysis/004700000045000000/
and read the section titled: Reorder Stops To Find Optimal Route

Jay Sandhu