Building a network dataset using a geoprocessing tool

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. On the menu bar, click Geoprocessing > Search For Tools.

    The dockable Search window opens with the Tools category selected.

  2. Click Network Analyst Tools in the list of toolboxes in the Search window.

    A list of toolsets and tools related to the ArcGIS Network Analyst extension are listed.

  3. Click Network Dataset in the Search window.

    Only tools related to network datasets are displayed in the Search window.

  4. Click the Build link in the list of tools.

    The Build dialog box opens.

  5. Specify the parameters on the tool's dialog box.
  6. Click OK.

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