Network Dataset Template/Schema: What's in it?

05-16-2020 03:32 PM
New Contributor II

Hi all, thank you in advance for any help you could give me. I'm new here and may have posted this in the wrong place.


I am unclear about what network database templates are and how I can use them. I've done a little poking around on google and youtube about this topic, but I'm still unclear.


I am attempting to use arcpy with ArcGIS 10.7 to do a simple service area analysis--how far distance-wise through a road network is a place on the road network from any of the nearest of many facilities. However, the geographic scope of this effort is quite large and can be over entire countries--say all of Japan.


What I currently have the idea to do is create a network dataset on a smaller area in ArcMap, then use arcpy to make a template of the of this network data set using the CreateTemplateFromNetworkDataset tool.


Create Template From Network Dataset—Help | Documentation 


I would then like to use that template to create a network dataset for the larger area using CreateNetworkDatasetFromTemplate.


Create Network Dataset From Template—Help | Documentation 


Specifically for this effort, I would like to make a network dataset and create a template of it for the Japanese island of Shikoku. Then I would like to use this template to do the service area analysis mentioned above for all of Japan. Is this possible? The code seems to work but I don't understand what is happening under the hood and I'm worried I might be missing something.


I'd also like to know more about templates and schema's in general. For example, can I use the templates I create for this on Japan, on other countries? I know that part of a schema is the projected coordinate system. So as long as I determine that the projected coordinate system from the first template is suitable for the new area I want to do the service area analysis on, can I just use the same template? What else is or could be missing?


Thank you for any possible help!

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3 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

When you create a network dataset, you specify the line/road features, attribute and restrictions, connectivity policy, etc. These settings are the schema of the network dataset. You can export the schema, and use it to create another one. For example, some one sends you an updated line/road feature class. So instead of going through the property pages and re-defining all the attributes/restrictions, you can use the schema to create a new network dataset on this updated road feature class. Everything about the input data and the fields that take part in the schema must be the same. 

If the data for the island and then the data for the rest of the country is in the same format then you can use the schema from the island to make a network dataset on the country. All the schema does is save you steps in re-creating a new network dataset.

Do you already have the road data from all the country? It might be easier to use the Ready To Use services from ArcMap and do your drive time analysis on the street data we host via ArcGIS Online. In the Catalog view, you can expand the Ready To Use item and find the logistic services for Service Area. You will need an AGOL account and will have to use some credits to use these services. Info here:

Consuming the logistics services using ArcMap—Help | Documentation 

GenerateServiceAreas—Help | Documentation 

Jay Sandhu

New Contributor II

Thank you Jay, this was very helpful.

New Contributor

Will post as separate question. 

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