Building a network dataset in ArcMap

Once you create a network dataset or edit an existing one, it must be built. The first build process on a new network dataset creates network elements, establishes connectivity, and assigns values to the network attributes based on the properties you defined in the New Network Dataset wizard. Also, a point feature class containing all the system junctions is created in the workspace that contains the network dataset.

Subsequent builds on the network simply update the elements, connectivity, and attribute values based on the properties set in the Network Dataset Properties dialog box.

If you edit source features, change how network attributes reference source features, or move a network dataset from one workspace to another (for example, using Copy and Paste), you should build the network.

Geodatabase network datasets can be built inside or outside of an edit session; however, geodatabase network datasets that are registered as versioned can only be built inside of an edit session. One ramification of this is that in ArcCatalog you cannot build a network dataset that is registered as versioned since it's not possible to start an edit session in ArcCatalog. You will need to use ArcMap instead. Shapefile network datasets can only be built outside of an edit session; therefore, you can use either ArcMap or ArcCatalog to build them.

  1. Start ArcMap by clicking Start > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcMap 10.
  2. Click the Catalog window button Catalog Window on the Standard toolbar.

    The dockable Catalog window opens.

  3. Using the Catalog window, navigate to the location of the network dataset and drag it into the map display or the table of contents.

    If a connection to the folder that contains the network dataset doesn't already exist, you can create one by clicking the Connect To Folder button Connect To Folder or by typing the folder path in the Location text box.

    The Adding Network Layer dialog box opens.

  4. Click No to only add the network dataset to the map, or click Yes to add the network dataset and all its source feature classes to the map.
  5. If you are working with a network dataset in a geodatabase that is registered as versioned, start an edit session.
  6. If the Network Analyst toolbar is not already present, click Customize > Toolbars > Network Analyst.

    The Network Analyst toolbar is added to ArcMap.

  7. On the Network Analyst toolbar, click the Build Network Dataset button Build Network Dataset.
  8. TipTip:

    If there is more than one network dataset, you can specify which network dataset to build by using the Network Dataset drop-down list on the Network Analyst toolbar.

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