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I have a forked river with multiple x,y data points along it and I need to measure the distance between these points when travelling along the river. However the forked part is throwing a wrench into things. I need the total distance as you move from 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 etc. The problem is the points are not sequential along the river and some points are in one fork while the next points are in the other. This is in ArcMap10. Thanks

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I think you'll need to post more information about the data and any related data you may have such as a corresponding line feature class. You should also more clearly state exactly what distance you are trying to measure, and whether there is an attribute or combination of attributes that can be used to identify the features making up that distance. Also screenshots of the geography and the attributes would help, but you may not yet have enough reputation to add images (links might work though). – blah238 Nov 15 '11 at 0:51
I assume you have a multilinestring? You could create a graph based on all your data points and use shortest_path algorithms on that mini graph. Or you could cut the river in two at the fork and work with that. Then your points should be sequential again. – mrg Nov 15 '11 at 9:19
Without seeing your dataset, it sounds like you would need to process your data a bit before you can identify a solution. There's no way for the application to intelligently infer what order you expect the points to be in. – nagytech Oct 27 '13 at 23:56
Have a look at RivEX this can measure distances between points on a river network. – Hornbydd Oct 28 '13 at 0:00

Try the "Locate Features Along Routes" tool under the "Linear Referencing Tools" from ArcToolbox. It will create a separate table with the measurement between points in it. Since your points are not in order, it may affect the result (not sure about that). Hope it will help. :)

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