Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am producing a road map (for print and online). I was thinking of using creating a geometric network with my roads, for editing purposes mainly, but I would like to know any critical downsides of selecting this strategy. This is why I turn to You.

All the examples I can find on the web (including Esri) are utility related -- either power, water or sewerage. So, if this concept is created with those in mind, is it useful for road editing too?

The reasons I find geometric networks attractive for road editing are:

  • Excellent editing features.
  • Automatic clipping of existing segments, when a new segment is drawn to them.
  • Existing annotations and representations are not lost, when a new road is added -- the automatic clipping preserves annotations and representations. The Planerize tool loses annotations and representations.
  • Lightning-fast identification of disconnected road segments.
  • Fast identification of dangles (send by analysing for loops
  • On-the-fly validation of new features.

This far, I have identified following downsides:

  • Closed line features are not allowed
  • Roundabouts are really hard to create without the Circle drawing tool (following the above mentioned limitation).
  • Not being able to have a topology within the same featureclass.

Are there any critical issues that should prevent me from using geometric networks?

share|improve this question
I note that this Question (which seems an interesting and well thought through one) has thus far attracted no Answers. If you ended up trying it out anyway I think you should now be in a good position to Answer your own Question. Is your current thinking that it is a good or bad idea? – PolyGeo Oct 8 '13 at 3:56
I've always found in a right pain to edit inside a geometric network. In order to re-model connectivity is necessary to break, move and then reconnect. There are also times when you'd like to move a line over another without breaking it. Usually I would edit without the benefit of a topology or network and then validate and fix later. It does of course depend on how bad your features are and how much editing you're expecting to do. If you're only updating road names it wont make much difference at all. – Michael Miles-Stimson Oct 8 '13 at 4:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.