Problems with indoors 3D network - help?

05-31-2011 07:19 AM
New Contributor
Hi all,

I'm having a bunch of problems with performing a 3D network analysis in an indoors environment using ArcGIS 10. Couldn't find any help in the help menu except for this and no relevant topics in the forum.

The idea is to find out how to perform 3D network analyses indoors in order to find the shortest route between two points in different floors. I have two floors connected by stairs and have done appropriate walking paths that should serve as a basis for my network. I've done a personal geodatabase with a feature dataset and imported my shapefiles as feature classes, and am now trying to figure out how to create a functional network dataset from the feature dataset.

I'm unsure how to proceed here, as ArcScene doesn't allow me to upload my network dataset and ArcMap doesn't seem to be able to cope with a 3D network (doing a network analysis in 2D just results in errors). First question: which program to use? Should I perform the network analysis as 2D in ArcMap and then somehow visualize it into 3D?   

I've been trying to follow the only instructions available (the link above), that is by making a route layer and then adding locations in ArcScene, but this too is problematic because I just want to find the route between a couple of points but this seems infeasible with the add locations tool...

So, if anyone has some suggestions on what to try next or where to look for help, please share your experiences or links. As I'm a beginner with this stuff, any help would be more than welcome. Also, if you know of any better workflow descriptions (than the link above) please let me know.

Cheers & thanks!
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Esri Contributor
First question: which program to use? Should I perform the network analysis as 2D in ArcMap and then somehow visualize it into 3D?

Technically, 3D network analysis is performed through geoprocessing, so you don't need ArcMap or ArcScene for the analysis part. But you'll probably want to use ArcScene for visualizing the results. Also, if you have input stops that you want to add interactively, you can do that much more accurately in ArcScene than ArcMap.

So the simple answer is, use ArcScene.

...ArcScene doesn't allow me to upload my network dataset...

When you try to add a network dataset to ArcScene, you'll get an error. This is expected, because as you noted, ArcScene can't display network datasets. What you can do is add your source features classes instead. The geoprocessing model you create will reference a network dataset, so ArcScene doesn't have to reference it.

I just want to find the route between a couple of points but this seems infeasible with the add locations tool...

Do you want to add the stops interactively or load them from a points feature class?

If you want to add them interactively, make sure that your input locations on the Add Locations tool is set as a parameter in your model and its data type is feature set. The Help topic that you reference goes along with data from the tutorial media. Take a look at the Input Stops parameter on the Add Locations tool of the provided model for an example; specifically...

  1. Right-click Input Stops in ModelBuilder and choose Properties.

  2. In the Input stops Properties dialog box, click the Data Type tab.

  3. Note that Select Data Type is set to Feature Set. This allows you to interactively click in ArcScene to add stops to the analysis.

One other point to be aware of is that you should be able to swap out the network dataset in the tutorial model with your own 3D network and it should just work, as long as you add stops by clicking on your own source features in ArcScene so that they can be located on your network.

Good luck!
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New Contributor
Robert, thanks for these insights, you really clarified many things for me and both my model and my visualization start to look very promising. The tutorial data has helped me out a lot and so has the Service Pack I downloaded to take care of some of the recurring bugs.

Still a few challenges on the way, however, as I'm still not able to run the model succesfully (nor can I swap my 3D network and use the tutorial model). There seems to be some kind of problem with the Add Locations tool still, since its executing gives me errors 030046 (Could not construct locator feature agents for the network) and 030003 (Failed to create locator from agents). Because of these errors, the model fails while trying to execute Add Locations. I've triple-checked my model so that it should work like the one in the tutorial, and I don't know what to do next.

I was wondering if you would have any ideas on how to do some troubleshooting with this? If adding locations is the problem, could it have something to do with my network dataset itself?

At some point I managed to execute the 3D routing succesfully once, but since then the model has not cooperated again. I feel I'm close to solving this small task, but irritatingly enough I don't know how to do it. Any help appreciated! Again, thanks!
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Esri Contributor
Validating your GP model might fix your issue. (In the ModelBuilder window click the icon with the check mark.)

Note that once you validate your model, you may have to set some parameters again as they will be reset in the process.

If that doesn't work, would you be willing to post or email your data, including the network analysis layer, GP model, and network dataset? ( I could take a look and see what else might be the issue.

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