As a last-ditch effort, I'm looking for help with a problem I think I've researched to death. But hoping I've missed something you all know!
I have a simple problem: I need to calculate the distance between every point in one feature layer (vector points) and the nearest point in another feature layer (vector points), following the roads from a third feature layer (vector polyline). I know the Near tool is nearest euclidian straight-line distance, and I've seen suggestions using raster cost layers, which I could create, or this solution from a previous post: https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-network-analyst-questions/near-analysis-with-network-road-dista..., but it would be prohibitively time consuming for me to create points at each road intersection (there would be thousands).
It seems like point to point distance along a line would be easy to calculate. Am I missing something?
Thanks in advance for the help!
You can use Network Analyst to accomplish your task. The road line feature class can be turned in to a network dataset. You do not need to create all intersections before building a network on it. You can use the Integrate tool to do that. Once you have a network dataset, you can use the Closest Facility solver to compute the path/distance from a set of incident locations to the one or more closest facility locations.
I suggest using the Network Analyst tutorials to help you with this.