Finding Closest Distance Between Points

Discussion created by jontyknox on Sep 30, 2011
Latest reply on Oct 13, 2011 by dkwiens

I have a .shp file representing global shipping ports. Basically I want to find which two ports or points are closest.

This is the first stage of an analysis and I would be happy to settle with this. On the off chance someone has a solution however, there is a slightly more complicated dynamic:

The crux of the matter is that the ports have to be closest to each other on the sea, so any distances calculated over land wouldn't suffice.. I'm assuming I would have to use come continental shapefile as a barrier to distance calculations, but I'm in the dark as to how I should go about this.

Finally, the port data I have is incredibly accurate and the majority of continental .shp files I have downloaded so far aren't. So when I try and marry the two together quite often the sea ports appear to fall inland on some of the continents. If anyone can recommend a high resolution continent shapefile that would correspond with the accuracy of my port data I would also really appreciate it.

Jonty Knox