Loading network analysis objects in ArcMap

If feature layers or tables are populated with the data you need for a network analysis, you can quickly insert the data into a network analysis class using the Load Locations dialog box. For example, you can geocode several client addresses and store the results in a point feature class; then, using Load Locations, convert the address points into stops on a route.

If you are loading features as network locations, a spatial search is performed to find their position on the network. Yet, consider that if the features have been used in an analysis before, or the Calculate Locations geoprocessing tool was previously run on them, they will have network location fields. With these field values, you can load locations using the network location fields instead of performing spatial searches. This will significantly reduce the time it takes to load locations, but you need to make sure that the network dataset hasn't changed since the network location fields were populated; otherwise, the features could be added to the wrong location.

You can also use the Load Locations dialog box to copy network analysis objects from one analysis layer to another or to load graphics into an analysis layer. If you have incidents in a closest facility analysis that you want to also use as stops in a route analysis, you can use Load Locations. Also, if you have point graphics on your map, you can load them into a point barriers class.

The following steps describe how to load locations in ArcMap.

    It is assumed that you have started ArcMap, added a network dataset, and created a network analysis layer.
  1. If the Network Analyst window is not already present, click the Show/Hide Network Analyst Window button Show/Hide Network Analyst Window on the Network Analyst toolbar.
  2. In the Network Analyst window, right-click the network analysis class (for example, Stops (0) or Point Barriers (0)) for which you want to load objects and click Load Locations.

    The Load Locations dialog box opens.

  3. Click the Load From drop-down arrow and click the input feature layer or table.

    If you want to filter your options to only a table or a feature layer with a specific type of geometry, check the box below the drop-down list. The name of the check box changes according to the geometry of the network analysis class you are loading to.

    If some of the features or records are already selected on the data you are loading from, you can choose to import only those selected items by clicking Only load selected rows.

    If the feature class or table to be used is not in the table of contents, click the browse button to find it.

  4. Optionally, click the Sort Field drop-down arrow to select the field on which the network analysis objects should be sorted.

    This controls the order in which the network analysis objects are loaded in the network analysis class.

  5. Optionally, on the Location Analysis Properties frame, click a cell in the Field column and click a field name.

    This frame maps field values from the input data (under Field) to the fields of the network analysis class you are loading to (under Property).

    Location Analysis Properties
    The values in the CurbApproa field of the input features are carried over to the CurbApproach field of the network analysis objects that are being created.
  6. Optionally, click in the Default Value column to assign default values.

    If you map a field to a property and assign a default value, anytime the mapped field in the input feature class is null, the default value is used instead. If a field is not mapped, the default value is always applied.

    You can choose not to assign any values at this point by leaving both the Field and Default Value cells blank. You can set the values for each network analysis object after it is created.

    Learn about viewing and editing network analysis object properties

  7. Example of field mapping with the Load Locations dialog box
    Example of field mapping with the Load Locations dialog box

    In the graphic above, data is being loaded from a point feature class into a Stops network analysis class. The Name field of the network analysis objects is populated with the CustomerName value for each point from the feature class. Since the RouteName's Field and Default Value columns are blank, the resulting network analysis objects have null values in the RouteName field. All the TimeWindowStart and TimeWindowEnd fields will have values of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., respectively, since the Field cells are empty and the Default Value cells are set. The CurbApproach for the stop objects receive their values from the myCurbApproach field of the feature class, but if any of those fields in the feature class are null, the value of Either side of vehicle is used instead.

    If you are loading objects that are located on the network, the Location Position frame is enabled.

  8. In the Location Position frame, choose whether you want to load using a spatial search or using network locations fields.
    • Click Use Geometry and set the search tolerance. To use this option, you must be loading a feature class rather than a table.
    • Click Use Network Location Fields to load using field values that identify locations on source feature classes. You will need to map location fields with this option.
  9. If you are loading point-based network locations, you can click Advanced to set up symbol snapping and reverse geocoding.

    These settings override similar settings on the Network Analyst Options dialog box.

    Learn more about Network Analyst options

  10. Click OK.

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