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A researcher in my field* recently created an "Urban Network Toolbox", an ArcGIS extension built upon Network Analyst. It calculates a number of measures on urban networks, such as betweenness and reach.

He was criticized for relying on ArcGIS, a commercial tool not available to many researchers, especially outside the US. But ArcGIS was a convenient platform, since it contains the Network Analyst extension, simplifying the work required for the analysis.

Are there open source network analysis tools that do the work of the Network Analyst extension? Are there other methods for creating the network datasets required as input for the toolbox? My understanding of the toolbox is that it uses the network dataset to calculate a distance matrix for a given set of points on the network. The toolbox does not use any of the higher level problem solving tools in Network Analyst.

*Quantitative Urban Morphology, perhaps? No one seems settled on a name for the broader field. The particular brand of research I do is with Space Syntax.

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Network Analyst - Is it the only choice? and Alternatives to pgRouting pretty much answer your question. –  radek Sep 16 '11 at 8:12
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Oh, you're right. My cursory glance for questions didn't turn those up. Let's vote to close before more answers show up. –  Patrick Sep 16 '11 at 10:39
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Once this is closed, it would be helpful to combine the other two under a useful title. Alternatives to pgRouting has better answers, but its title is less informative. –  Patrick Sep 16 '11 at 10:43
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2 Answers

There's NetworkX, a python graph/network analysis package. The list of network algorithms it supports is here.

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Not opensource (but freeware), the CrimeStat program can calculate network distances. It takes as an input either a shapefile or a more arbitrary spreadsheet of to/from nodes.

Although not open source, the dll libraries are freely available to use (and so I would think would be available for use in other tools).

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