The ArcGIS Server Network extension gives you access to network analysis tools in a server environment. These tools are designed for transportation networks and can be a great way to expose routing functionality and report driving directions in your Web applications. You can also use the Network extension to solve advanced routing problems on a central server and report the results to clients.
The following list is a sample of the kinds of questions the Network extension can help you answer:
- What is the quickest way to get from point A to point B?
- Which houses are within five minutes of a fire station?
- What market areas does a business cover?
- A person wants to visit a store. Which branch should the potential customer visit to minimize travel time?
- Which ambulances or patrol cars can respond quickest to an incident?
- How can a fleet of delivery or service vehicles improve customer service and minimize transportation costs?
- Where can a business open a store to maximize market share?
- If a company has to downsize, which stores should it close to maintain the most overall demand?
To answer these kinds of questions using the Network extension, first you need a network dataset, which represents the transportation network. Then you can create network analysis layers on the network dataset and solve them to find solutions to network problems. The network analysis layer contains the parameters, inputs, and outputs for a network problem. There are currently six types of analyses you can perform:
- Service Area
- Closest Facility
- OD Cost Matrix
- Vehicle Routing Problem
The ArcGIS Server Network extension is similar to the ArcGIS Desktop Network Analyst extension. The Network Analyst Help describes network datasets and network analysis layers in more detail.
Working with network analysis on the server