Exercise 1: Creating a network dataset

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Data Path: C:\ArcGIS\ArcTutor\Network Analyst\Tutorial\Exercise01 Goal: To create a network dataset from a streets feature class in a geodatabase

In this exercise, you will create a network dataset in a geodatabase using San Francisco street and turn features. You will also include historical traffic data so you can solve time-dependent routes.

Creating a network dataset

  1. Start ArcCatalog by clicking Start > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcCatalog 10.
  2. Enable the Network Analyst extension.
    1. Click Customize > Extensions.

      The Extensions dialog box opens.

    2. Check Network Analyst.
    3. Click Close.
  3. On the Standard toolbar, click the Connect To Folder button Connect To Folder.

    The Connect to Folder dialog box opens.

  4. Navigate to the folder with the ArcGIS Network Analyst tutorial data.

    The default location for the tutorial data is C:\ArcGIS\ArcTutor\Network Analyst\Tutorial

  5. Click OK.

    A shortcut to the folder is added to the Catalog Tree under Folder Connections.

    The Catalog Tree

  6. In the Catalog Tree, expand ...\ArcTutor\Network Analyst\Tutorial > Exercise01 > SanFrancisco.gdb.
  7. Click the Transportation feature dataset.

    The feature classes the feature dataset contains are listed on the Contents tab of ArcCatalog.

  8. Right-click the Transportation feature dataset and click New > Network Dataset.

    Choosing New Network Dataset

    The New Network Dataset wizard opens.

  9. NoteNote:

    To open the New Network Dataset wizard in a geodatabase, you right-click the feature dataset that contains the source feature classes (Streets, for example) and choose New > Network Dataset. For a shapefile-based network dataset, you right-click the Streets shapefile itself—not the workspace that contains the shapefile—and choose New > Network Dataset.

    The reason for the difference is that geodatabase networks allow you to use multiple sources that are stored in the feature dataset to create a multimodal network, while shapefile-based network datasets are only capable of handling a single source feature class.

  10. Type Streets_ND for the name of the network dataset.

    Naming the network dataset

  11. Click Next.
  12. Check the Streets feature class to use it as a source for the network dataset.
  13. Click Next.
  14. Click Yes to model turns in the network.
  15. Check <Global Turns>, which enables you to add default turn penalties, and check RestrictedTurns to select it as a turn feature source.

    Configuring turns

  16. Click Next.
  17. Click Connectivity.

    The Connectivity dialog box opens. Here you can set up the connectivity model for the network.

  18. For this Streets feature class, all streets connect to each other at endpoints.
  19. Make sure that the connectivity policy of Streets is set to End Point.
  20. Click OK to return to the New Network Dataset wizard.
  21. Click Next.
  22. This dataset has elevation fields, so make sure that the Using Elevation Fields option is chosen.

    Elevation settings in a network dataset further defines connectivity. To understand why, assume two edges have coincident endpoints in X and Y space but have different elevations (one endpoint is higher than the other). Furthermore, assume their connectivity policy is set to Endpoint. If elevation is ignored, the edges connect. However, if elevation is considered, they won't connect.

    There are two ways to model elevations: using true elevation values from geometry or using logical elevation values from elevation fields.

    The Streets feature class has logical elevation values stored as integers in the F_ELEV and T_ELEV fields. If two coincident endpoints have field elevation values of 1, for example, the edges will connect. However, if one endpoint has a value of 1, and the other coincident endpoint has a value of 0 (zero), the edges won't connect. ArcGIS Network Analyst recognizes the field names in this dataset and automatically maps them, as shown in the graphic below. (Only integer fields can serve as elevation fields.)

    Setting elevation fields

  23. Click Next.
  24. You can configure historical traffic data with this page of the wizard. Traffic data enables you to find the quickest routes based on time and day of the week. For example, the quickest route from point A to point B at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday (during rush hour) could be different than the quickest route between the same points at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Even if the path of the route is the same, the time it takes to reach the destination could vary.

    Learn more about historical traffic data

    The SanFrancisco geodatabase contains two tables that store historical traffic data: DailyProfiles and Streets_DailyProfiles. The schemata of the tables were designed in such a way that Network Analyst could recognize the role of each table and configure historical traffic automatically.

    Historical traffic data configuration

  25. Click Next.

    The page for setting network attributes is displayed.

    The attributes of the network dataset

  26. Network attributes are properties of the network that control navigation. Common examples are cost attributes that function as impedances over the network and restriction attributes that prohibit traversal in both directions or one direction, like one-way roads.

    ArcGIS Network Analyst analyzes the source feature class (or classes) and looks for common fields like Meters, Minutes (FT_Minutes and TF_Minutes, one for each direction), and Oneway. If it finds these fields, it automatically creates the corresponding network attributes and assigns the respective fields to them. (This can be viewed by clicking Evaluators.)

    Network Analyst automatically sets up eight attributes for this San Francisco data: HierarchyMultiNet, Meters, Minutes, Oneway, RoadClass, TravelTime, WeekdayFallbackTravelTime, and WeekendFallbackTravelTime. It also assigns evaluators to the attributes.

  27. Click the Meters row to select it, then click Evaluators to examine how the values of network attributes are determined.

    The Evaluators dialog box opens.

    The Evaluators dialog box

  28. The table on the Source Values tab lists the source feature classes. Linear source feature classes, which become edge elements in the network dataset, are listed twice; once for the from–to direction and once for the to–from direction. (The directions are in relation to the digitized direction of the source line feature.) The Type column shows the type of evaluator used to calculate the network attribute values. The Value column holds information the evaluator needs to calculate attribute values.

  29. From the Attribute drop-down list, click each type of attribute, one at a time, and inspect the evaluator types and values for the source feature classes.
  30. Click OK to return to the New Network Dataset wizard.
  31. In the next steps, you will add a new attribute to restrict movement over the turn elements created from the RestrictedTurns feature class.
  32. Click Add.

    The Add New Attribute dialog box opens.

  33. Type RestrictedTurns in the Name field.
  34. For Usage Type, choose Restriction.
  35. Note that Use by Default is checked. This restriction will be used by default when a new network analysis layer is created. If you want to ignore the restriction when performing an analysis, you can disable it in the settings of the analysis.
    Adding a restricted-turns attribute
  36. Click OK.

    The new attribute, RestrictedTurns, is added to the list of attributes. The blue circle with the D in the middle indicates the attribute is enabled by default in new analyses.

  37. Click Evaluators to assign values by source to the new attribute.
  38. Follow these substeps to set the type of evaluator for RestrictedTurns to Constant with a value of Restricted.
    1. Click the Attribute drop-down list and choose RestrictedTurns.
    2. For the RestrictedTurns row, click under the Type column and choose Constant from the drop-down list.
    3. Click the Value column and choose Restricted.

      The result should look like the following graphic:

      RestrictedTurns evaluator settings

  39. The evaluators for the street sources are empty, so they will remain traversable when this restriction is used.
  40. Click OK to return to the New Network Dataset wizard.
  41. Right-click the HierarchyMultiNet row and choose Use By Default.

    The blue symbol is removed from the attribute. This means the hierarchy won't be used by default when an analysis layer is created with this network dataset.

  42. Click Next.
  43. Click Yes to set up directions.

    Enabling directions

  44. Click Directions.

    The Network Directions Properties dialog box opens.

  45. Now you will specify the fields used to report directions for network analysis results.

  46. On the General tab, make sure that the Name field for the Primary row automatically mapped to NAME.

    The NAME field contains the San Francisco street names, which are needed to help generate driving directions.

    The result should look like the following graphic:

    The Network Directions Properties dialog box

  47. Click OK to return to the New Network Dataset wizard.
  48. Click Next.

    A summary of all the settings is displayed for your review.

  49. Click Finish.

    Summary page of the network dataset

    A progress bar opens showing you that Network Analyst is creating the network dataset.

    The creation progress bar

  50. Once the network is created, the system asks if you want to build it. The build process determines which network elements are connected and populates the attributes of the network dataset. You must build the network before you can perform any network analysis on it.

  51. Click Yes.

    The Build Network Dataset progress bar opens; it will disappear when the build process is finished.

    The building progress bar

    The new network dataset, Streets_ND, is added to ArcCatalog along with the system junctions feature class, Streets_ND_Junctions.

  52. Preview the network dataset by clicking its name and clicking the Preview tab.
  53. Close ArcCatalog.

Now you can add the network dataset to ArcMap and use it to create network analysis layers.