Finding the best route in ArcMap

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

    The dockable Catalog window opens.

  4. 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.

  5. Click No to only add the network dataset to the map. Optionally, click Yes to add the network dataset and all its source feature classes to the map.

    The network dataset is added to ArcMap as a network layer.

  6. If the Network Analyst toolbar is not already present, click Customize > Toolbars > Network Analyst.

    The Network Analyst toolbar is added to ArcMap.

  7. 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.

    The dockable Network Analyst window opens.

  8. When network analysis layers are created from the Network Analyst toolbar, they are automatically associated with the active network dataset.

  9. Ensure that the correct network dataset is active.

    The active network dataset is specified in the Network Dataset drop-down list on the Network Analyst toolbar.

  10. On the Network Analyst toolbar, click Network Analyst > New Route.

    The network analysis layer is created and appears in the table of contents and the Network Analyst window.

    The route analysis layer is made up of the following network analysis classes: Stops, Routes, Point Barriers, Line Barriers, and Polygon Barriers. The classes are empty. You need to create network analysis objects so the solver has enough information to generate a solution.

  11. Open the Layer Properties dialog box for the network analysis layer.
  12. Click the Analysis Settings tab.
  13. Set the properties for the route analysis layer.

    If you need to visit stops within certain time frames, be sure to check the Use Time Windows property.

  14. Click OK.
  15. Add at least two stops to the analysis.

    There are several ways to add network analysis objects to an analysis layer. The most common ways are creating them using the Create Network Locations Tool Create Network Location Tool or loading them from a feature class. There are two ways to load network analysis objects from a feature class: one, from ArcMap using Load Locations or, two, through geoprocessing using the Add Locations tool.

  16. Set or change any properties for the network analysis objects you added in the last step.

    If you want time windows on any stops, set the StartTimeWindow and EndTimeWindow properties on those stops. (StartTimeWindow and EndTimeWindow are only visible if you check the Use Time Window properties of the route analysis layer.)

  17. If you need to adjust the location of a stop, on the Network Analyst toolbar, click the Select/Move Network Location Tool Select/Move Network Locations Tool.
  18. Optionally, add any point, line, or polygon barriers.
  19. The Solve button works on the network analysis layer that is active in the Network Analyst window. So ensure that the analysis layer you want to solve on is selected in the drop-down list in the Network Analyst window.

  20. Click the Solve button Solve on the Network Analyst toolbar.

If the analysis solves successfully, one or many route objects are created in the Routes class, and the output properties of stops are updated to show results.

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