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Setting: I have several trucks driving out of my factory delivering goods and coming back for more deliveries. These trucks are equipped with GPS so that they may return tracklogs to me. These tracklogs are in table format, so it is not hard for me to convert the logs to point shapes or line shapes. But after, say, a month I will have so many overlapping logs, it makes no sense to look at. Therefore I would like to "merge" all the roads together into one where ever they are close to each other. I would also like an attribute which tells me how many times each section has been driven. Finally I want to be able to add new tracklogs to the final result.

Link to image: http://postimage.org/image/1g1sfdnz8/

Tested: I have tried using the "Merge Divided Roads (Cartography)" tool, but it does not give me the result i want. When using the "Merge Divided Roads (Cartography)" tool, it manages to merge the beginning of the roads, but as soon as they cross paths, it will not merge anymore. (I am guessing this has something to do with the tool being optimized for road networks and all I have are shape files.)

This is practically what "Merge Divided Roads (Cartography)" tool gives me:

Link to image: http://postimage.org/image/1g20p2eg4/

Question: 1) Anybody know how to get two or more lines to become one line where they are close and almost parallel? 2) Would you also know how to get the count of how many times a section of the road has been driven?

Information: I am using ArcGIS 10 with ArcInfo + some extensions

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I have a similar problem as your question number two and I have tried to solve the problem but not quite reached home. My lines followed the exact same path as they were digitalised using the trace tool in ArcMap10, tracing along a road network centerline. The first step was to Split Line at Point (under Data Management/Feature in ArcToolbox) using a point layer designating junctions. Next step was adding a new column (short integer) to the lines and giving every line the number 1. My idéa was to aggregate the lines and calculate a sum for every line segment based on the column with the number –  user7397 May 8 '12 at 7:35
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2 Answers

Merging your truck routes data looks complex, and it is maybe not necessary. Another approach could be the following:

  • Retrieve some road network data for your area of interest. Maybe you already have it. Otherwise, you could get openstreetmap data on roads.

  • Link or snap your route data to this network using some basic data matching operations. A simple linking rule based on minimal distance should provide a satisfying approximation.

  • For each section of the road network, the number of times each section has been driven will then be derived easily: it is the number of truck routes linked to it.

If your purpose is mainly to display your data to have an overview of the distribution of your truck moves, you can also simply display your data using transparency like on this image:

chmuck


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Thanx for the suggestions.. The transparency method was i thing i also thought of to begin with, but i actually need a number on how manny times trucks has driven there.. So i cant use this method. The network-snapping thing was a good idea.. I'll try looking more into that. But the biggest problem here is that there are verry little networks in the area. Manny of the routes are also off road routes and therefor have no lines to snap to. –  Martin Mar 8 '11 at 14:09
    
I was realy hoping to be able to solve this without having to use a networksystem.. Do you have a suggestion to that or do you think ill have to create my own network? THX –  Martin Mar 8 '11 at 14:18
    
Yes, it seems required to create a network for your purpose. –  julien Mar 10 '11 at 10:14
    
You wouldn't happen to have a model or something that will help me in anny part of creating network from lines or snapping lines together in the network would you? Because i know really little about creating and managing networks.. And last but not least.. do you know how i can label the roads with how manny is paralelly snapped? –  Martin Mar 11 '11 at 13:14
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It seams the "Merge Divided Roads (Cartography)" tool is working when i use the "table to line" tool (wich requiers a start and end coordinate for each segment of the line) when i want to create a line from the tracklog, rather than using the "table to polyline" tool (wich does not require me to create an end coordinate).. But i still do not know how to see how many times the road has been driven..

annybodey?

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If anybodey is wondering, i found the best tool for part one.. It's named Integrate.. For part two, i have not found an optimal solution yet, but the tool Kernel Density at least gives me an idea of where i have driven the moast amount of times.. –  Martin May 6 '11 at 13:58
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