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Distance between two linear features?

Question asked by wernett9 on Jan 15, 2012
Latest reply on Feb 9, 2012 by dlee-esristaff
I've been searching and searching for a way to calculate the minimum and mean distance from one line feature to another line feature. I'm dealing with several decades worth of shorelines for each one of my four different sites for my thesis. Currently I have a script written that cycles through each of the sites and runs an analysis from one shoreline to every other shoreline at the same site then moves on to the next year at that site and does the same thing. Right now it begins at a distance of 0.05 meters and incrementally increases a buffer around the first line until the buffer encompasses a threshold percentage of the second shoreline. I understand that this is somewhat repetitive, but that is ok. I would rather include distances for both directions. So my question is: is there a clean way to calculate the minimum and/or average distance from one line feature to another line feature? If so, how might this work? It seems like a fairly straightforward concept to calculate a set of distance statistics from one line to another (yes, I would like direction to matter as it is important to me if A to B is not the same as B to A for some reason), but I cannot seem to find how to implement this. Any help here would be much appreciated.

Michigan State University
Department of Geography
MS Graduate Student