Will merged road datasets be "linked" and ready to use in a network dataset?

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05-08-2016 10:58 AM
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New Contributor II

I need to combine two vector datasets (representing roads) into a single dataset, and then create a network dataset from the result. I believe I can use the merge tool to combine the two vector datasets. However, I am wondering if I need to carry out any further operations to “link” the two merged vector datasets before creating my network dataset. Will the two merged vector datasets be “connected” after the merge, so that the network dataset created from the merged dataset will allow calculation of routes that travel on roads contained in both of the original vector datasets.

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Regular Contributor II
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Esri Regular Contributor

Hello, Peter.  Yes, you will need to do some extra work to make sure that your two street datasets actually connect properly to one another.  In order for streets to actually be connected in a network dataset (ie, it's possible to drive from one to another), they must have either endpoints or vertices at the locations where they touch, depending on your network's connectivity policy.  If they simply cross over one another without vertices or endpoints, they will not be considered connected in a network.  It will be treated more like an overpass, where no connection is possible.  You can learn more about network dataset connectivity here: Understanding connectivity—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop

One of the easiest ways to ensure connectivity is to set your connectivity policy to Any Vertex and to use the Integrate tool with an XY tolerance of 0.  Integrate is sort of a scary tool that edits your input features in unpredictable ways, but the 0 XY tolerance ensures that nothing will actually change shapes.  It will just add vertices at the points of intersection.  It also honors the selection set, so you could first select only the small number of features that you're trying to connect before running the tool.

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New Contributor II

My two datasets overlap in a number of locations. I would like to create a vertex any place that the two datasets overlap. Can you possible advise me on the best way to do this? Thanks

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New Contributor

Hi Melinda, I would like to use the integrate tool and have set my connectivity policy to any vertex but I am unsure which feature to enter into the input features box, would it be the road lines or nodes or perhaps junctions? I'm a little lost! Thanks, Laura

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Esri Regular Contributor

You would enter the roads in the input features box.  It will create a vertex anywhere that the road features intersect themselves.

Make a backup copy of your data first...

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MVP Frequent Contributor

Either use the integrate tool as Melinda says or in an ArcMap edit session you can use the "planarise" tool on the advanced editing toolbar.

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