I'm doing an analysis of bicycle route choice and have GPS tracks for about 3600 trips in csv format. I can add them to ArcMap and create lines no problem, but they of course do not follow the actual road. I've searched many forums and cannot find a solution that works or that I can understand. What's the simplest way to take my csv files and snap them to an existing road centerline? My knowledge of programming is severely limited so if that is necessary, please be as descriptive as possible.
The need to have the actual routes ... all of them... snap or align to an existing road can be addressed simply by selecting the road(s) from an existing network and saving it. The result would be correct and remove any coding issues. If on the other hand, you just want to identify which roads a particular cycle route traversed, then you could use the route points spatially join them to a segmented road network. In this way you would know road segments were closest to which cycle route. doing this for thousands of routes would suggest that the tact to take would be to aggregate the cycle routes if possible, to simplify the overall problem.
After doing some literature review, I found that the best method is one developed by Dalumpines & Scott (2011). Citation below. Basically, make a buffer around the GPS track and create a route in Network Analyst between origin and destination within the buffer.
Dalumpines, R., & Scott, D. M. (2011). GIS-based map-matching: Development and demonstration of a postprocessing map-matching algorithm for transportation research. In Advancing geoinformation science for a changing world (pp. 101-120). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.