Has the Generate Near Table tool in ArcMap 10.2.1 been modified to no longer find the nearest distance between each feature in the input datasets and the closest point of each Near feature?

04-20-2016 11:02 AM
New Contributor

In ModelBuilder,  have an input point feature class with a varying number of points (rows) that require a closest distance value to 9 polygon feature classes.

In ArcMap 10.0, I can set parameters in the Generate Near Table tool to output a table with a row for each point of the input feature class (IN_FID) and the nearest distance to each of the Near features. For instance, if I have 2 points in the input feature class and 9 polygon Near feature classes that I wish to obtain the nearest distance to, the resultant table contains 18 rows, one for each of the IN_FIDs and its distance to each of the NEAR_FIDs.

In ArcMap 10.2.1, the same parameter settings result in a table with only 2 rows, one for each IN_FID and only the closest point of the closest Near feature. With this result, I will have to run the tool 9 times and then merge the tables to get one table with each distance.

I would like to use the additional Method parameter to acquire these near distance geodesically for better accuracy but am disappointed in having to run the tool this often.

Am I missing some setting here? Or, is there another tool I can use to obtain these same results?

I have attached screenshots of the v10.0 and v10.2.1 model, settings and resultant tables.

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3 Replies
Esri Contributor

As you are setting the value of "Maximum number of closest matches" to 1, it is returning the single closest feature amongst all input features. My understanding is that this is the intended behavior.

If you want to get the distance from the Input feature to ALL Near features, then use a value of 0 for the "Maximum number of closest matches" instead. This will probably give you the result you are looking for:

The last scenario is where you want to get the single closest feature for each individual Near point feature class. For this, you will need to keep using a loop to go through each feature class and run the Generate Near Table on each feature class.

I don't have access to a 10.0 install and therefore cannot test the previous behavior. However, it is possible the behavior has changes as the Near tools were re-written at 10.2 (http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/pdf/whats_new_in_arcgis.pdf ).

New Contributor

Thanks, Dave.

The results of setting "Maximum number of closest matches" to 0 does not

provide the desired results, as it measures every possible distance between

input points and near features, then ranks them according to proximity. In

my scenario, I get over 58,000 records.

As you suggest, I'll loop the process for each near feature and merge them.

I'm disappointed that this aspect of the tool is no longer available. If

there is any chance it could return, it would be nice.

But I do like the addition of the Method parameter!

Thanks, again, for your assistance.

Stephen Gonzales, GISP

Geographer/GIS Specialist

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Gulf of Mexico Region

Office of Leasing and Plans

Mapping & Automation Section


1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.

New Orleans, LA 70123


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Esri Contributor

The best spot to submit this enhancement request would be on the Esri ArcGIS Ideas site.

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